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Futurist Friday: Argumentative AI

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog
IBM Watson Project Debator with human opponent
IBM Watson Project Debator with human opponent

In TrendsWatch 2017 I explored the implications of increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) for society and for museums. Museums are already using AI to converse with visitors, and give voice to works of art. I’ve proposed that sometime soon AI powered chatbots might “speak” on behalf of historical figures.

Now in the latest AI legerdemain, IBM Watson has demonstrated its ability to debate a human opponent: researching facts, mustering arguments, even deploying humor and deflection. Which leads to my next speculation: in the future, could AI not only answer questions, and make suggestions about what visitors might like to see or do, but also engage in spirited debate about the merits of this or that work of art, or the significance of historic events? Watch this very short video from IBM Research (1.47 min) and see what you think.


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