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For or against legalization? The computers debated and decided

Can artificial intelligence help us make decisions on complex issues? IBM believes that it is, and chose to demonstrate this by using their new supercomputer, which is required to discuss a more current issue - the legalization of cannabis.

If you are not tired of arguing with opponents of human legalization, you can now do that with a computer.

The IBM computer company demonstrated its new artificial intelligence system, which can conduct complex discussions for and against any subject, and they did so by discussing the legalization of cannabis.

The demonstration, dubbed Project Debater - Speech by Crowd, took place at a technology conference held Thursday in Tel Aviv.

Here's how it looks:

The system, which was developed at the company's research labs in Haifa, has already experienced a debate about people, including former world champion Debate, in favor of or against subsidizing kindergartens.

But yesterday was the first time instead of pumping her arguments from the Internet, the system received real-time arguments from the audience at the event and used them.

The audience was asked to write arguments for and against legalization through smart phones, and those were transferred to the computer. In total, 637 was given arguments in favor of and against 388.

The computer analyzed the arguments, assessed their structure and content, and summarized them into several key points which he composed for two fluent speeches - one in favor and one against legalization.

"Cannabis users turn more frequently to hard drugs once their bodies develop immunity to the 'high' sense of cannabis," the computer stated in an authoritative female voice as he spoke against legalization.

Another legal argument against legalization, which apparently entered the speech because enough people in the audience wrote it, was: "Legalization of cannabis will increase demand and at the same time the black market, leading to crime, gangs, human trafficking and drug wars."

The computer's speech in favor of legalization claimed that cannabis helps patients, less harmful than tobacco and alcohol, and will bring tax gains to the government.

IBM Debate PC
IBM Debate PC

"Today we demonstrated our vision to develop technologies that will help make decisions," explained project manager Ronit Aharonov. "The idea is not to develop machines that will make decisions for us, but rather machines that will help us in the process."

IBM CEO Daniel Malka said that the new Debate technology is one of the biggest breakthroughs he has seen while working at the company. "It does not surprise me that an artificial intelligence system capable of arguing was developed in Israel," he said jokingly.

IBM hopes that the Debate system will be a powerful tool for companies that want to analyze in a moment a huge amount of customer reviews and summarize them at key points, and perhaps for decision makers on more important issues, such as lawmakers and judges.

See more:
When Google's computers dream of grass


Cannabis fines

(Starting with 1 in April 2019)

Based on a figure revealed by Minister Erdan. Police refuse to reveal official figureDetails here)

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