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Epic Digital documents the making of IBM Project Debater: The first AI to debate a human

“The Debater” made its world debut at CPH: DOX, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival 

Today, IBM announced the worldwide availability of ‘The Debater,’ a documentary produced by Epic Digital. Streaming on The Verge’s YouTube channel, the film documents an eclectic team of researchers that dare to take artificial intelligence (AI) into uncharted territory, exploring what it means to live in a world where AI has the potential to help us make better decisions.

‘The Debater’ follows IBM scientist Noam Slonim and his team in Israel. Prior to becoming a scientist Slonim was writing comedic sitcoms, one of which featured an episode on competitive debating. While eventually the show was cancelled his interest in debating continued, leading him to nominate a debating AI computer as IBM’s next grand challenge. What begins as a quixotic obsession turns into a multi-year research effort where Slonim and his team built an AI that ultimately faced off against a debating champion in San Francisco in February 2019.

The rare behind-the-scenes look at the maturation of the powerful AI, The Debater, was produced in partnership with Epic Digital – a team of investigative journalists and story hunters who travel around the world uncovering and telling incredible true stories for brands.

After making its debut at CPH:DOX, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival on March 25, ‘The Debater’ was made available on-demand to attendees of IBM’s Think Digital Event Experience and today, the film is available for viewing everywhere via YouTube.

For IBM, the documentary is a powerful storytelling tool that captures years of work from the company’s research division to create the new AI – a technology now integrated into Watson to help businesses to better identify, understand and analyze human language.

To launch the film, IBM partnered with Vox Creative team to promote the film via social, Vox Media’s networks including The Verge and proprietary ad marketplace, Concert.