IBM's Project Debater Wants to Argue With You

Dr. Noam Slonim, principal investigator, stands with the IBM Project Debater before a debate between the computer and two human debaters Monday, June 18, 2018, in San Francisco.

Dr. Noam Slonim, principal investigator, stands with the IBM Project Debater before a debate between the computer and two human debaters Monday, June 18, 2018, in San Francisco. Eric Risberg/AP

If you're someone who never backs down during an argument, then you might not like IBM's newest artificial intelligence system, Project Debater.

Equipped with a machine learning algorithm and deep neural networks, the system can pull in data from millions of sources like articles and papers from journals to construct an argument. From there, it creates a narrative it thinks will be convincing in order to win the debate.

"It has to be able to understand language in a way that will enable it to figure out what are arguments that support its stance of the debate," said  Dr. Ranit Aharonov, Manager of the Project Debater Team.

These aren't just theoretical arguments either. The system won against a experienced human debater during a live debate and was able to convince a portion of the audience to switch their positions.

The IBM team hopes Project Debater and the technology behind it will eventually be used to help people get better insights about important topics.

To see Project Debater in action, check out the video below from CNET

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