On Friday, October 9 at 7:00 PM ET Bloomberg Television will debut the new limited series “That’s Debatable,” presented in partnership with Intelligence Squared U.S. and sponsored exclusively by IBM, with an episode debating the motion “It’s Time to Redistribute the Wealth.” As nations around the world face a reckoning on racial and social justice and work to combat the economic impacts of the pandemic, should we address growing economic inequality by overhauling our tax system, expanding our social safety nets, and investing more in public initiatives like universal health care, education, and infrastructure? Or would a wealth transfer unduly punish the economic elite, destroy the promise of a meritocracy, and inevitably lead to excessive government intervention in our social and economic lives?
Arguing in favor of the motion “It’s Time to Redistribute the Wealth” are former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and former Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. Arguing against the motion are former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Allison Schrager.
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, moderated by veteran Intelligence Squared U.S. moderator John Donvan. The live audience will select a winner via mobile, to be announced at the conclusion of the program.
The show will also be one of the first AI-aided debates, designed to demonstrate how AI can be used to bring a larger, more diverse range of voices and opinions to the public square. From now through September 21, audiences can join in the discussion by submitting a short argument for or against the motion at www.ibm.com/debatable. 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.