23Mar - by aiuniverse - 0 - In Artificial Intelligence

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What more can artificial intelligence do?

IBM has designed an artificial intelligence system that can debate with humans. The company published a paper in the journal called Nature, where one of the team members described the AI system and how well it performed against a human opponent. Chris Reed, a professor in the University of Dundee has published a News & Views article in the same journal throwing light on the history and development of artificial intelligence as a disruptive technology based around the types of logic used in human arguments and the system created by IBM.

As Reed explains in his piece, debating is a skill that humans have been perfecting for thousands of years. It’s usually a type of discussion in which a person or a group persuades others that their opinion on a subject is right. As a step forward, the IBM team has designed an AI system to debate with humans in a live setting. The system is capable of listening to the moderators and opponents and responds in a feminine tone.

Traditionally in debates, people involved tend to cite people who can back up their claims. They might find these citations from prior research or quote well-known phrases used by notable people in the field of argument. Project Debater, as the IBM system is known, scans the internet for similar arguments and uses the information in ways that are convincing.

Another common debate practice is participants attempting to counter the arguments of the opponent. To handle that, Project Debater uses Watson, the IBM system that defeated contestants on the popular game show “Jeopardy”. This system listens to the arguments given by the opponents and searches on the web for rebuttals that were used by others about similar claims.

Project Debater was first tested back in 2019 in a debate session with Harish Natarajan, an expert debater. In that debate, IBM’s system did not defeat Natarajan, but the audience agreed that it performed outstandingly.

Experts at IBM believe that Project Debaters’ failure against Natarajan was an important milestone in the efforts to get robotic systems to master human language. IBM research director Dario Gil said that the experience “is not about winning or losing” but about creating an AI system “that can master the infinitely complex and rich world of human language.”

The Watson computer system used by Project Debater defeated a grand chess master, apart from winning the game show. Ranit Aharanov, manager of the Project Debater team talked in a discussion after the debate. There she said that the goal of the project is to help humans deal with complex decisions.

“It’s not a question of whether AI is going to be better than humans. It can debate both sides, so it can very quickly help you understand both sides of the problem, so you have a wider view of the problem and can make a better decision.”

Project Debater went through another test where it was asked to convince a panel of viewers that telemedicine was a good idea. Almost everyone in the panel agreed that the AI system managed to change their opinions on the topic of conversation which implied that AI systems can participate in human debates in the future, for example, in those that happen on social media.

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