IBM plans to inject Watson platform with its Project Debater NLP technology

IBM said it is commercializing its Project Debater technology that enables artificial intelligence to debate humans and handle complex topics.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

IBM said it is adding more conversational human language understanding to its Watson platform via its Project Debater technology.

Big Blue's upgrades to Watson's natural language processing (NLP) capabilities come via an effort called Project Debater, which aimed to show that artificial intelligence could debate humans on complex topics.

That Project Debater technology is what will be commercialized via Watson. For example, the new NLP engine will be able to understand idioms and colloquialisms and conversational phrases. The technology will be handy in areas such as customer care as well as sentiment analysis.

Project Debater, in development since 2012, was designed to digest massive texts, construct speech on any given topic, identify arguments, deliver it and rebut opponents by ingesting an opponent's speech.  

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According to IBM, the Project Debater technologies will be added to Watson throughout 2020. The categories include:

  • Advanced Sentiment Analysis to understand complicated word schemes like idioms. The technology will also be better equipped to analyze phrases of words and possibly sarcasm. IBM's new NLP technology will be added to Watson Natural Language Understanding this month.
  • Summarization and briefs. The Project Debater technology will pull textual data from multiple sources and analyze things like articles, blogs and bios to create briefs and insights. The ability to summarize will be added to Watson Natural Language Understanding later in 2020.
  • Advanced topic clustering to group incoming data and create topics of related info to be analyzed. Watson Discovery, aimed at industries like insurance, healthcare and manufacturing, will get the technology later in 2020.
  • Classification of business documents will also be added into Watson Discovery later in 2020 to identify clauses in contracts and documents. 


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