Turing tests and Turing talks

It’s been a big week for artificial intelligence. On Tuesday, an AI system competed with champion debater Harish Natarajan at Think 2019 in San Francisco. The resolution for discussion? ‘We should subsidise preschool.’

The following 56 minutes of live debate was pretty extraordinary.

‘Project Debater’ made a moral and political argument for subsidising preschools.

“I sometimes listen to opponents in wonder. What do they want? Would they prefer poor people on their doorsteps begging for money? Would they live well with poor people without heating and running water? Giving opportunities to the less fortunate should be a moral obligation of any human being and it is a key role for the state.” [24:39]

Summing up, moderator (and Emmy award-winning journalist) John Donvan noted that “she also threw in a few *jokes along the way and was surprisingly charming and human sounding I would say.” [21:06]

For all the jokes and charm, Harish won the debate and Wired’s Adam Rogers thinks she’s still a toaster. (If you have a spare 18 minutes, The Conversation’s podcast on Deep Blue, Kasparov and the chess match started the big data revolution is worth a listen.)

From Turing tests to Turing Talks, and the Assembly Buildings in Belfast will see Dr Krishna Gummadi from the Max Planck Institute discussing machine decision making and why we need to train unbiased AI.

We’re exhibiting – along with SmashFly (our headline sponsor for Big Data Belfast 2018) and a number of great companies including Capita and B-Secur.

The Belfast Turing Talk 2019 takes place from 5.30pm to 20.30pm on Thursday February 21. Click here to register and do stop by our exhibition space if you’re planning to come along.

*”While I cannot experience poverty directly and have no complaints concerning my own standards of living, I still have the following to share…” [12:55]

[Photo Credit: IBM Research]

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