AI-powered IBM Debater argues with human over subsidies for space exploration

AI-powered IBM Debater argues with human over subsidies for space exploration
Photo Credit: Pixabay
19 Jun, 2018

Artificial intelligence took a big leap in becoming man’s greatest opponent as technology giant International Business Machines Corp. engaged its computer program called IBM Debater in a verbal combat with an Israeli college debate champion, a New York Times report said.

According to the report, IBM Debater, which was designed to hold intelligent conversations with humans, argued in favour of government subsidies for space exploration. It delivered three brief speeches in a digitally created monotone while responding to Noa Ovadia, who was arguing against the topic.

The debate, which took place at IBM’s San Francisco office, saw the machine make arguments such as: “Another point that I believe my opponent made is that there are more important things than space exploration to spend money on. It is very easy to say there are more important things to spend money on, and I dispute this. No one is claiming that this is the only item on our expense list.”

The programme was reportedly under development for the last six years, marking IBM’s efforts in creating an artificial intelligence system that could talk to humans as humans do among themselves.

IBM Debater was designed to argue on about a total of 100 topics. However, these interactions are highly constrained: A four-minute opening statement followed by a dismissal of its opponent’s opinion and eventually a statement summing up its own viewpoint, the report added.

IBM Debater is the latest in a series of artificial intelligence steps the technology giant is taking to empower marketing, healthcare, and more.

Last month, IBM said it would offer its marketing cloud service in India, powered by artificial intelligence, through its Chennai data centre. Called Watson Customer Engagement, WCE will let Indian enterprises host their marketing data on IBM’s cloud data centre.

Already, IBM Watson, an artificial intelligence platform for business, detects complex diseases and suggests treatments.

Early this month, IBM said the rise of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain would soon disrupt the marketing tech services space.

Apart from IBM, several others are deploying artificial intelligence.

Last week, Axis Bank joined chatbot club with an AI-powered assistant called Axis Aha.

Several schools in China are running an artificial intelligence engine to evaluate students’ essays.

It was also reported last week that researchers at a British university are working on an artificial intelligence engine that could diagnose illness simply by smelling the breath of a person.