Robert Rosenkranz, a financier and a philanthropist, believes in civility. Since 2006, his foundation has sponsored a series of public debates called Intelligence Squared U.S., in which two experts argue for a resolution—“Charter schools are overrated”; “Video games will make us smarter”—and two argue against. “The audience votes twice, on their phones, once before the debate and once after it’s over,” Rosenkranz said recently. “The hope is that a significant portion will change their minds, or will come away with a more nuanced understanding of the other side.”
On a frigid January night, a Harvard genetics professor with a billowing white beard stood stage left in a theater on Manhattan's Upper East Side, an icon of the environmentalist movement in a fleece vest beside him. Both men were staring down a toothy problem: How could they convince their counterparts on the stage, along with the 300 people who'd filed into Hunter College's Kaye Playhouse for a debate, that the world should bring back velociraptors or, at the very least, an extinct pigeon?
We saw computers beat humans at chess in 1997, beat humans at Jeopardy in 2011 and vanquish the world's best human players of the ancient game of Go in 2017. On Monday, a computer edged out a victory over people in a far more nuanced competition: debate.
Can we all agree that Google Duplex demo was eerie? A robot, posing as a human being, scheduled a reservation over the phone. We all knew artificial intelligence was coming, but it was breathtaking to hear software come to life.
In the Trump era, tribalism bests morality. The party of Lincoln elected a reality television star who recently endorsed a senate candidate accused of molesting teenagers. Meanwhile, two Democratic leaders resigned this week after dozens of sexual assault allegations. Conservatism’s underlining principles of economic empowerment have fallen to deep state conspiracy, while liberalism’s social egalitarianism is subverted into media soundbites.
Two sides with decidedly different opinions on whether college athletes should be paid participated in a public debate on Tuesday night in New York City.
Whether college athletes should be paid has been a long-running debate in the world of intercollegiate athletics. The conversation has ramped up over the past few years in the wake of court decisions, conference realignments and the increased prominence of a limited number of institutions with powerful athletic programs.
If you’re tired of hearing college coaches and athletic directors stumbling over themselves to repeat the same tired, NCAA-issued lines about maintaining the “integrity” of college sports, you’re in luck.