Project Debater, which has been in the works since 2012, is designed to come up with coherent, convincing speeches of its own, while taking in the arguments of a human opponent and creating its own rebuttal.
Despite the setback, IBM should consider this a win: More than half of participants said that Project Debater better enriched their knowledge about the topic, compared to only 20 percent for Natarajan.
Natarajan is only the latest human to go head-to-computer against Project Debater. The guy was a finalist of the world Championship debates among universities and European competition debate.
To access the competition, the audience was asked to vote for one side or the other at the start of the debate, and again at the end of it.
While waiting for the final vote, Natarajan said it was interesting that Project Debater could contextualize information and pull details from research.More news: Force India's life as Racing Point begins with launch of 2019 vehicle
Natarajan also praised his opponent, stating that an AI-human collaboration can produce impressive results: "I think if you take some of those skills and add it to a human being who can use it in slightly more subtle ways, I think it could be incredibly powerful". In memory Debater contains more than 10 billion sentences of 300 million scientific articles from which he drew the necessary arguments. It saved its best counter arguments for its closing statement.
Aharonov believed that would make the technology underpinning Project Debater attractive to enterprises. Since then, IBM had been trying to improve Debater's rebuttal capabilities.
"It's really pushing the boundaries [of the] kinds of AI systems that are more interactive with us and can understand us better", IBM Research director Dario Gil said Monday on CNN's First Move.
"There is hope behind the technology".
IBM says that "the goal is to build a system that helps people make evidence-based decisions when the answers aren't black-and-white". Check out a replay of the debate below, and thanks to Jon855 for the tip.More news: Tip-in at buzzer lifts No. 19 LSU past No. 5 Kentucky
"Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam said in 1973, 'Preschool is the greatest single aid in removing or modifying the inequalities of background, environment, family income or family nationality", Project Debater told the audience during its opening remarks, borrowing from a 1972 speech.
In its arguments, Project Debater cited studies showing positive outcomes because of preschool education from the vast amounts of material it ingested beforehand.
These may be slightly complicated supporting points, given both lacked some context in the way they were delivered.
The debate with Harish Natarajan was not Project Debater's first test against humans.
Ry Crozier is attending IBM Think 2019 in San Francisco as a guest of IBM.More news: Declan Rice has opted to play for England instead of Ireland