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IBM Debater a potential defender against fake news
July 8, 2018, 4:36 pm

In this age of rampant fake news on social media sites and elsewhere, a new project from IBM could offer a potential tool to access universal unbiased information that would hopefully allow us to make better decisions.

IBM just showcased Project Debater a software that won against a human debater using actual facts. When and if it goes into production, the tool could provide a strong defense against politicians of every ilk as well as other con artists who often try to convince us down is up and left is right, and get us to act in ways that we would have never done if we were better informed.

The rapid impact of fake news means that it will not be long before criminals leverage artificial intelligence that can create voices and mannerisms linked to an individual’s data bought or stolen from social media sites and use it in ways detrimental to us or to influence our decisions.

Project Debater from IBM is a showcase of exactly what is needed, but at scale. It can listen to an argument and provide a fact-based counter to it in real time. In fact, the project won against a professional human debater without even being connected to a database on the internet. In production, it would not have that limitation and could prove to be that killer application every company or individual desiring to make informed decisions would love to have.

One potential application would allow it to monitor electronically what you hear and say, while providing real time advice on what to do. For instance, if you were having a political argument with your friend, who made a questionable claim, the tool would promptly notify you it was false and explain why. Anyone with this service available at a political event could, in real time, realize whether the politician’s claim was true or false.

This tool would also be very helpful in litigation. With litigation, much of the cost typically is tied to one side or the other being unreasonable. Both sides would have save a ton of money if they used the tool and viewed their case in a realistic unbiased manner. A judge who had access to this technology would also be far more effective at making a determination much more quickly.

There could be adverse uses of this technology but, for now, IBM's Project Debater is perhaps the best tool to protect us from the fake news that has been polluting the world around us.


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