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In 2019, a globally recognized debate champion, Harish Natarajan, took part in a live debate with a five-and-a-half-foot-tall rectangular computer screen, in front of around 800 people. The topic of discussion? Whether or not nursery school should be subsidized. The subject isn’t really the point here though, but the fact that Natarajan had a heated argument with a computer system is. This particular algorithm has also evolved quite rapidly since then, and it’s gradually getting closer to engaging in the kind of complex human interaction represented by formal argumentation.

For a bit of context: IBM’s Deep Blue was the first computer to defeat a reigning chess champion, Garry Kasparov in 1997, then fourteen years later IBM’s Watson defeated the All-Star Peril! players Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. At this point, intelligent computers have been solidified, but many tests to achieve this clarification were based on clear win or lose results. In other words, the coding behind these tech brains led to a definition binary algorithmic path to victory, presenting that actually a system that could interact with the nuance that enables complex conversation with human beings was still not possible. That’s until (potentially) now.

A study published by Nature shows a surprising progress within the Artificial intelligence (IA), and more particularly with the new creation of IMB ‘Project Debate’which is the algorithm that increases the likelihood that a computer will soon be able to understand and interact with what might be called a “grey area”, as far as the differentiation between humans and technology is concerned.

The study consists of IBM researchers from around the world who report on the progress of the AI ​​system. Following the 2019 debate with Natarajan, a series of similar tests were recorded and evaluated on nearly 80 different topics by 15 members of a virtual audience, between Project Debater and three other expert human debaters.

As reported by American scientist “In these human versus machine competitions, neither side is allowed to access the Internet. Instead, everyone has 15 minutes to “collect their thoughts,” as explained by Christopher P. Sciacca, communications manager for IBM Research Global Laboratories. This means the human debater can take a moment to jot down ideas on a topic at hand, like subsidized preschool, while Project Debater combs through millions of journal articles and Wikipedia entries. previously stored, analyzing specific sentences and commonalities and disagreements on particular topics. After the preparation time, both sides give alternate four-minute speeches, and then each makes a two-minute closing statement.

Although Project Debater has come a long way, it still hasn’t been able to argue in front of human debaters, but to be fair, neither have most other humans. What’s the real point of having an AI system that can argue anyway? Well, humans live online and bots frequently chat with us without us possibly being able to decipher if there is one or not. One of the goals is to make this exact process even more difficult for us to know the difference.

Searcher Chris Roseau of University of Dundeewho is not part of the Project Debater team, but wrote in a comment also posted in Nature saying that “More than 50 labs worldwide are working on the problem, including teams from every major software company.” Which leads us to realize that these systems aren’t going anywhere in the future. Like Futurism wrote on the subject, to prepare for what’s to come “maybe we should all start thinking about how to choose our battles. Before you get embroiled in another online argument, keep in mind that it could be a bot on the other end that will constantly engage in combat until you get out of it. go or waste hours screaming into the digital void.

Models of what constitutes a “good argument” are diverse, and on the other hand, a good debate can be summed up, as Reed puts it, in “little more than formalized intuitions”. The article goes on to posit that the challenge facing argument technology systems will essentially be whether to treat arguments as local fragments of discourse influenced by an isolated set of considerations, or to “weave them into the most great tapestry of societal debates”. Reed writes that “it’s about designing the problem to be solved, rather than designing the solution.”

In the real human world, there are no clear boundaries to determine an argument; solutions are most often subjective to a range of contextual ideas. However, if Project Debater is still suitable and successful in turn, Reed comments that “Given the wildfires of fake news, the polarization of public opinion, and the pervasiveness of lazy reasoning, this facility contradicts an urgent need for humans to be supported in creating, processing, navigating, and sharing complex arguments – support ‘IA might be able to provide. So while Project Debater tackles a grand challenge that primarily acts as a rallying cry for research, it also represents a step towards AI that can aid human reasoning.

At their essence, AI systems are defined by the ability of a machine to perform a task that is commonly associated with intelligent human beings: argument and debate are fundamental to how humans interact and respond to world around them, and therefore, within our human world. which has become increasingly parallel in importance to another – the Internet world – having an intelligent system of interactions and reactions will simply solidify the parallel. Whether this is actually a good or a bad thing is still open to human debate.

An algorithm challenges the smartest human minds to debate. What happens when he wins?



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