IBM's Project Debater AI Takes on a Human

AlphaAtlas

[H]ard|Gawd
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Yesterday, an IBM "artificial intelligence system" took on human debater Harish Natarajan in a live-streamed debate on the subject of subsidizing preschool. The Project Debater system opened in support of the resolution, and apparently, "she" only had 15 minutes to prepare for the topic beforehand, just like the record-holding human competitor. While Natarajan was technically declared the winner of the debate, IBM's Research Blog notes that 58 percent of the audience thought "Project Debater better enriched their knowledge about the topic at hand, compared to Harish's 20 percent." For those who are interested in the debate bot, IBM is hosting an "experimental cloud-based AI platform for crowdsourcing decision support," which they were undoubtedly hoping to drum up support for with this stunt. Thanks to Jon855 for the tip.

Check out a replay of the debate here.

At Intelligence Squared U.S., we've debated AI before - the risks, the rewards, and whether it can change the world - but for the first time, we're debating with AI. In partnership with IBM, Intelligence Squared U.S. is hosting a unique debate between a world-class champion debater and an AI system. IBM Project Debater is the first AI system designed to debate humans on complex topics using a combination of pioneering research developed by IBM researchers, including: data-driven speechwriting and delivery, listening comprehension, and modeling human dilemmas. First debuted in a small closed-door event in June 2018, Project Debater will now face its toughest opponent yet in front of its largest-ever audience, with our own John Donvan in the moderator's seat. The topic will not be revealed to Project Debater and the champion human debater until shortly before the debate begins.
 
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DNMock

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Sweet, now when skynet goes live and enslaves the human race, our robot overlords will be able to make us feel bad about us not just killing ourselves and forcing poor ole' skynet to waste valuable resources hunting humanity down to finish exterminating us.

Thanks IBM!
 

travisty

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They have a long way to go with this one.
How so?

The human never gave a true reason why preschool is not the best option for gvment to invest in. His only argument was to say subsities dont work yet his arguments was to invest/subsidiuze other areas without facts to back him up; which Project Debator shut down in round two. Project Debator used facts to back up their arguments and addressed why preschool is helpful.

In the end the human talked past the issue - like any good politician - and never addressed the issue itself.

In short the human fell into a cookie-cutter argument against subsidiesa in general and never against preschool.
 
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filip

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How so?

The human never gave a true reason why preschool is not the best option for gvment to invest in. His only argument was to say subsities dont work yet his arguments was to invest/subsidiuze other areas without facts to back him up; which Project Debator shut down in round two. Project Debator used facts to back up their arguments and addressed why preschool is helpful.

In the end the human talked past the issue - like any good politician - and never addressed the issue itself.

In short the human fell into a cookie-cutter argument against subsidiesa in general and never against preschool.
A good AI has to be convincing to humans, this one was not.
 

travisty

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A good AI has to be convincing to humans, this one was not.
Again how was it not convening? Have facts lost that much value?

Again don't listen in a partisan way and instead listen to what's being said. The human had nothing to add to the debate besides saying subsidies are bad, m'kay?
 

filip

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Again how was it not convening? Have facts lost that much value?

Again don't listen in a partisan way and instead listen to what's being said. The human had nothing to add to the debate besides saying subsidies are bad, m'kay?
Facts have lost value in my opinion. The peacock with the biggest feathers wins arguments.
The facts where great but I do believe that is not the way to convince people.
 

modi123

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Ah them were the days.. Get the AI to work in pairs!

For my 1NC it will be two topicality, three additional off, a page of impact and solvency turns on case, and maybe a Heidegger kritique at the bottom if I have time.

Everyone good? Okay..

*massive inhale*

*timer beep*

First off topical, A, definition, Blacks Law Dictionary..
 

Dalexx

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Again how was it not convening? Have facts lost that much value?

Again don't listen in a partisan way and instead listen to what's being said. The human had nothing to add to the debate besides saying subsidies are bad, m'kay?
Throwing out a bunch of stats alone isn't a slam dunk, and really the AI had the easiest task. Just present a bunch of stats and say *See it's good* I would have liked to have seen the AIs counter argument against the same proposal. I didn't hear the human says "Subsidies are bad" he said that most states funds are limited and there is better ways to spend said funds.

Personally I think the debate was a bit too short and lacked any real interaction, which would show off how impressive the AI was or wasn't. I understand that is probably how these style of debates go, but for a tech demo, it wasn't nearly as sexy as watching AI beat the best GO and LoL players live.

*Note I'm not really picking a winner of the debate, I just didn't find the demo of the AI all that impressive
 

DNMock

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Again how was it not convening? Have facts lost that much value?

Again don't listen in a partisan way and instead listen to what's being said. The human had nothing to add to the debate besides saying subsidies are bad, m'kay?
Facts have very little value in a debate, which is generally about convincing people by playing on their psyche and emotions. For reference, watch basically any political debate ever, or any debate with your wife/girlfriend.

If facts have a high value it's no longer a debate and we call that a discussion.
 

Thatguybil

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Facts have very little value in a debate, which is generally about convincing people by playing on their psyche and emotions. For reference, watch basically any political debate ever, or any debate with your wife/girlfriend.

If facts have a high value it's no longer a debate and we call that a discussion.
Political debates are separate entity from formal scored debates like this.
Project Debater won the audience vote but did not win the formal scored debate.

You can almost say it won the popular vote but lost the electoral college. ;)
 

ThatITGuy

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As long as the AI eventually calls the other debater (or relates the opposing argument to) Hitler/Nazis, I am good with their logic.
 

cattix

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Facts have lost value in my opinion. The peacock with the biggest feathers wins arguments.
The facts where great but I do believe that is not the way to convince people.
Totaly upside down logic. Facts are facts, it is what it is, you cant argue that. That is why they are called facts. So you are saying whoever exaggerates the most is right?
 
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