Debating champion has defeated artificial intelligence

Debating champion Harish Natarajan has beaten the AI Project Debater Credits : Youtube screenshot / IntelligenceSquared Debates

Artificial intelligence might have beaten humans when it comes to video games, chess or Go games, however it still has it’s work cut out if it wants to become a master of debate.  The artificial intelligence developed by IBM folded in front of Harish Nataranjan, who specialises in the art of debate!

AI can’t seem to win when it comes to debate!

As the recent article published by Engadjet reminds us, artificial intelligence has beaten humans in chess, Go games, poker, Jeopardy, Scrabble and even video games like Pac-Man, Star-craft and Dota 2.

What will it be able to achieve next?  Debating is often a expertise that humans are excel at.  On the 11 February,  the IBM’s AI Project Debater -which is capable of debating against humans – lost to Harish Natarajan the European champion debater.  He won the title while debating against other university champions while still a student at the University of Cambridge in 2012.

The AI and the human debater are given 15 minutes to prepare by dividing their work into an introduction, rebuttal and conclusion.  However the AI was soundly defeated during the debate that lasted 25 minutes. (You can see the debate at the end of this article.) The debate addressed the issue of subsidies granted to nursery schools.

Credits : YouTube screen shot / IntelligenceSquared Debates

Why was the AI soundly defeated?

Last year the AI Project Debater tried this exercise in a series of duels. It was observed that the AI technological ​​still had a very mechanical approach due to the massive calculation necessary to formulate it’s arguments. However the artificial technology has been designed to understand speech nuances so it can comprehend the pros and cons of an argument. The technology has also been trained using hundreds of millions of press articles. Moreover, AI ​​is able to detect the key points of their opponent’s argument using voice recognition. 

As for the recent debate, Harish Natarajan  stated, even before starting the duel,  that he would win the debate. According Mr Natarajan debate is more difficult than chess and Go games as you need to use emotions, rhetoric and examples which makes it very difficult for AI technology. Nevertheless, the human champion believed that AI could one day become stronger in this domain.

Sources : EngadjetPresse Citron

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