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.