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Mar 17, 2021

AI Can Now Debate with Humans and Sometimes Convince Them, Too

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, genetics, robotics/AI, space travel

Today on the Science Talk podcast, Noam Slonim speaks to Scientific American about an impressive feat of computer engineering: an AI-powered autonomous system that can engage in complex debate with humans over issues ranging from subsidizing preschool and the merit of space exploration to the pros and cons of genetic engineering.

In a new Nature paper, Slonim and colleagues show that across 80 debate topics, Project Debater’s computational argument technology has performed very decently—with a human audience being the judge of that. “However, it is still somewhat inferior on average to the results obtained by expert human debaters,” says Slonim.

In a 2019 San Francisco showcase, its first public debut, the system went head to head with expert debater Harish Natarajan.

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