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Bloomberg Media and Intelligence Squared U.S. present a new limited debate series “That’s Debatable” hosted by Award-Winning Journalist and Moderator John Donvan and featuring AI from IBM Watson

NEW YORK September 3, 2020 -- Bloomberg Media today announced a new interactive debate series titled “That’s Debatable,” to debut on Bloomberg Television Friday, October 9 at 7:00PM ET. Presented in partnership with Intelligence Squared U.S. and hosted by four-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, broadcaster and Intelligence Squared’s longtime debate moderator John Donvan, the program will feature industry leaders, economists, policy makers and public intellectuals debating some of today’s most pressing issues. “That’s Debatable” is sponsored exclusively by IBM.

Filmed in front of a live virtual audience, “That’s Debatable” will be conducted in the traditional Oxford-style format with two teams of two subject matter experts debating over four rounds. The live audience will select a winner via mobile, to be announced at the conclusion of the program.

The show will also demonstrate how AI can be used to bring a larger, more diverse range of voices and opinions to the public square and can help uncover new perspectives to enhance the debaters’ arguments. The general public is invited to submit a short argument for or against each episode’s position statement. During the debate, IBM Watson plans to use Key Point Analysis, a new capability in Natural Language Processing (NLP) developed by the same IBM Research team that created Project Debater, which is designed to analyze viewer submitted arguments and provide insight into the global public opinion on each episode’s debate topic.

“Bloomberg Media’s global audience regularly turns to Bloomberg Television as a critical source of news and information,” said Al Mayers, Global Head of Bloomberg Television and Radio. “By partnering with Intelligence Squared for ‘That’s Debatable’ – and utilizing IBM Watson technology to compliment Bloomberg’s trusted journalism – we’re able to provide viewers with thoughtful discourse and insights into some of the most important subjects currently at the forefront of national and global conversation.”

“Globally, we are facing unprecedented and complex challenges,” said Intelligence Squared U.S. CEO Clea Conner. “In this era of seemingly endless soundbites and social media echo chambers, it is harder than ever before to truly engage with the other side of an issue. At this historic moment, we are calling for a return to civilized and substantive debate to help us navigate a rapidly changing world. Together with Bloomberg TV, and our exclusive sponsor IBM, ‘That’s Debatable’ will explore multiple viewpoints of the most important topics of our time -- and give a voice to a global audience with Watson’s advanced AI analysis.”

The debut episode’s debate topic is: “It’s Time to Redistribute the Wealth.” As nations around the world face a reckoning on race and social justice and work to combat the economic impacts of the pandemic, “That’s Debatable” will take a hard look at the hotly contested question with leading experts on both sides of the argument.

Audiences can join in the discussion by submitting a short argument for or against the motion: "It's time to redistribute the wealth" starting today through September 14 at www.ibm.com/debatable. Then tune into “That's Debatable” on October 9 to see a debate fueled in part by your submission.

"Our ambition for ‘That’s Debatable’ is simple -- to showcase one of the many ways AI can be used for good by helping people understand nuanced viewpoints, discover and surface critical insights, and inform high stakes decision making,” said Daniel Hernandez, General Manager, IBM Data and AI. “What we learned from over 30,000 Watson client engagements inspired IBM Research to create cutting-edge innovation in language, automation and building trust, which will be demonstrated in the series and made available in Watson for all businesses to use.”

About Bloomberg Media:
Bloomberg Media is a leading, global, multi-platform brand that provides decision-makers with timely news, analysis and intelligence on business, finance, technology, climate change, politics and more. Powered by a newsroom of over 2,700 journalists and analysts, it reaches influential audiences worldwide across every platform including digital, social, TV, radio, print and live events. Bloomberg Media is a division of Bloomberg LP. Visit BloombergMedia.com for more information.

About Intelligence Squared U.S.:
A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches millions of viewers and listeners through multi-platform distribution, including public radio, podcasts, live streaming, newsletters, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps including Roku and Apple TV. With over 180 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to "think twice" on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008.

About IBM Watson:
Watson is IBM’s AI technology for business, helping organizations to better predict and shape future outcomes, automate complex processes, and optimize employees’ time. Watson has evolved from an IBM Research project, to experimentation, to a scaled set of products that run anywhere. With more than 30,000 customers, Watson is being applied by leading global brands across a variety of industries to transform how people work. To learn more, visit: https://www.ibm.com/watson. To learn more about Natural Language Processing and how new capabilities like Key Point Analysis are designed to analyze and generate insights from thousands of arguments on any topic, visit: https://www.ibm.com/watson.

For more information on Intelligence Squared U.S., please contact Ray Padgett (raypadgett@shorefire.com) or Mark Satlof (msatlof@shorefire.com) at Shore Fire Media.

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