IBM’s Project Debater uses Artificial Intelligence to Debate

Computers Can Debate- Project Debater

Did you think ever that computers can debate like a professional debater? Oh yeah, it going to be possible very soon and this is going to happen with the tech giant’s latest AI Project Debater.
When it comes to Artificial Intelligence it seems that all the tech giants are crazy about it. All the leading companies like IBM, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon are competing with each other to show that they are the best in the race. We have seen recently Google’s AI-based personal assistant called Google Duplex. It can make calls and can fix appointments on the behalf of its owner. IBM is also working on an AI project called Project Debater in which machines are being trained to debate like professionals.

Only Elon Musk has different views on this topic. He believes Artificial Intelligence will be the biggest mistake of humans and it will destroy the humans.  Let’s know a bit more about it. He said–

“At least when there’s an evil dictator, that human is going to die. But for an AI, there would be no death. It would live forever. And then you’d have an immortal dictator from which we can never escape.”

So, Let’s explore the IBM’s Artificial Intelligence.

Project Debater | Artificial Intelligence

IBM Research is working to develop an Artificial Intelligence technology called Project Debater. It aims to expand human minds through impartial debate. It is one of the most ambitious projects of IBM research team. Researchers at IBM are working hard to explore the border lines of Artificial Intelligence. They are training computers to make well-informed and engaging points of view. The value of this technology is to build a powerful system that will allow the decision maker to take more informed decisions based on trustworthy evidence. There is a display on the front of the column that shows simple animations that indicates whether Project Debater is talking or thinking. According to IBM researchers Noam Slonim and Ranit Aharonov, the real power of Project Debater will be its ability to present unbiased arguments.

It’s a decision-making system can help break the echo chamber effect,” Aharonov told Engadget. “Instead of making a gut-reaction decision, it’ll help make unbiased decisions.”

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How it works?

The IBM Project Debater has an extremely wonderful capacity to make arguments on any complex topic. Once it gets its topic it collects and analyses all the possible points and tries to make a strong argument. IBM has given Project Debater a huge database of information. And fed it billions of sentences from sources like thousands and millions of news and magazines articles. It can identify facts and opinions. And organize them together, in a sort of sweeping automated cribbing which its human opponents can’t match. It can debate any topic that is not preplanned that means it can make any argument anywhere, anytime and on any topic.

Debate Format.

It follows the same format as traditional debates. The AI and its counterpart each present a four-minute opening, after that a four-minute rebuttal and at last a two-minute closing statement. The important point to note that the topic is not known before the debate starts, and Project Debater is not pre-trained on any specific topic. Like debate experts, this AI also can argue any side of an issue. It finds pros and cons based on the topic stance it’s given. So, when presented with a topic like “governments should regulate artificial intelligence”. It figures out which claims are for and which are against the statement.

For example, if Project Debater is arguing for the topic, the claim like “AI needs regulation to both to protect individuals and accelerate the adoption” then the AI would categorize it as the pro. And a claim like “heavy-handed regulation of AI by any country will stunt its AI progress” would be grouped as a con. Because it is a machine, and Project Debater is impartial. It is not going to prove a position or to be right. The researchers have it designed to help expand minds and help people to think about another side of an issue. The Project team has trained it to understand the nuances and aspects of language. On the basis of this training, the AI decides an the argument’s stance of given the topic.

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Will Project Debater snatch jobs?

According to Stefan Stern co-author of Myths of Management and the former director of the High Pay Centre,-

“An AI machine has made some coherent arguments – that doesn’t mean IBM’s Project Debater would be any good in a boardroom.”

Well, we cannot deny that Artificial Intelligence is definitely going to crush millions of jobs in near future. The Google’s Artificial Intelligence-based personal assistant Google Duplex and many other AI are growing rapidly. And if they got success in implementation of AI, It will snatch millions of repetitive jobs from humans.
But, still, Artificial Intelligence does not have feeling and guts. It can only present the facts and pros and cons of an issue. No doubt it can reduce the loss and increase the rewards on the basis of probabilities but it’s not going to make decisions. It will need people to supervise it. Humans will have to be smarter to face the impact and to understand the value of Artificial Intelligence.


Deepak Ranjan
Deepak Ranjan

Student of Computer Application, Enthusiastic content writer, Tech Blogger, Optimist, Believes in continuous learning by exploring things.