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IBM advanced Project Debater effort with Key Point Analysis

IBM advanced Project Debater effort with Key Point Analysis

IBM has developed a natural language processing advance via its Project Debater effort called Key Point Analysis that aims to use artificial intelligence to sum up crowd-sourced arguments.

The technology, led by IBM Research, is being showcased on Bloomberg TV’s “That’s Debatable” show. The show aired Friday and featured a debate on wealth distribution with US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, former Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Manhattan Institute’s Allison Schrager.

Noam Slonim, lead researcher for IBM’s Project Debater effort, said the goal of Key Point Analysis is to “enable AI systems to manage the human language.” “There’s a significant opportunity for using national language processing,” he said.

Primers: What is AI? | What is machine learning? | What is deep learning? | What is artificial general intelligence?    

In the debut episode of “That’s Debatable,” IBM used Key Point Analysis to distill points for a debate on wealth redistribution. About 3,500 arguments were submitted on whether it is time to redistribute wealth and IBM is collecting thoughts on future debates, IBM’s technology found that 56% of the arguments were for redistribution, but 44% were against. Of that 44% against redistribution, 15% cited the moral hazards of discouraging hard work. Without the AI distilling those arguments, it’s unlikely that point would have been surfaced in a debate.

The breakdown of submissions went like this:

  • 3508 submissions
  • 1600 usable arguments
  • 20 final key points
  • 2 coherent narratives for each side.

Slonim explained that IBM’s Key Point Analysis is designed to reveal key points, generate a bullet summary and create quantitative numbers to review and a narrative. “It puts short comments into a summary that can guide decisionmakers and establish a communication channel between decisionmakers and those impacted,” he said.

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IBM

IBM Watson Chief Architect Dakshi

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White House Floats $1.8 Trillion Stimulus Offer in Last-Ditch Effort: Live Updates

White House Floats $1.8 Trillion Stimulus Offer in Last-Ditch Effort: Live Updates

Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

The White House, seeking to revive stimulus talks that President Trump called off just days ago, planned on Friday to put forward its largest offer for economic relief yet, as some Republicans worried about being blamed by voters for failing to deliver needed aid ahead of the election.

The new proposal, for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to present to congressional Democrats, would increase the White House’s plan for coronavirus stimulus to $1.8 trillion.

The president “would like to do a deal,” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said on the Fox Business Network on Friday, in the latest head-snapping turn in the on-again-off-again negotiations. The overall price tag of the offer was confirmed by two people familiar with the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose details of the talks.

Fanning the sense of optimism, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter: “Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!”

The prospects of a compromise remained remote, however, given the opposition of many Republicans to another large infusion of federal virus aid. Speaking to reporters in Kentucky, Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, cast doubt on the chances of a deal, saying political divisions remained too deep less than a month before Election Day.

“The situation is kind of murky and I think the murkiness is a result of the proximity to the election and everybody kind of trying to elbow for political advantage,” Mr. McConnell said. “I’d like to see us rise above that like we did back in March and April, but I think that’s unlikely in the next three weeks.”

Yet the White House was working

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Airlines, Hotels, Workspaces Get Creative in Effort to Buoy Business Travel

Airlines, Hotels, Workspaces Get Creative in Effort to Buoy Business Travel

As the global aviation industry begins to take flight again, U.S. airlines are starting to get creative about keeping their most valuable flyers: business travelers.

U.S. airlines, on average, are looking to replace roughly 86.5% of their revenue from 2019. United Airlines’ revenue is down 85% so far this year.

Now, United, the nation’s third-largest carrier, is partnering with meeting and event space company Peerspace, to bundle flights alongside office space. The airline is homing in on professionals whose jobs are again requiring long-distance travel.

“We’re an airline; we’re not in the office space business or the meeting space business. But how can we solve that problem of having people come together safely?” said BJ Youngerman, who leads United’s California market strategy. “Regardless of where someone may be living on a temporary or permanent basis, we have the ability to bring people together.”

Peerspace’s platform touts nearly 20,000 spaces in more than 1,800 cities many of which are located near United hubs.

Youngerman said the idea was first discussed in April but not formally put together until now. Packages start at $5,000 and include a roundtrip flight and a short-term work area or a “unique collaborative” space for small gatherings. 

In 2019, business travelers and their employers contributed $1.5 trillion to the global economy, according to the Global Business Travel Association, with more than 60% of travelers staying at an “upscale or higher” property. In a typical year, business travelers represent 75% of an airline’s profits.

Airlines aren’t alone in their dependence on corporate travelers. According to hotel industry analyst STR, group occupancy of more than 10 people is at roughly 4.7%, down more than 80% from a year ago. Marriott’s corporate travel is down 79%, and Hilton hasn’t fared any better.

During a recent earnings call, Hilton CEO Christopher

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Businesses shut in effort to contain virus in New York City hot spots

Businesses shut in effort to contain virus in New York City hot spots

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of businesses and schools in New York City neighborhoods where coronavirus cases have spiked were closed Thursday by order of the governor, but questions swirled about how effectively officials could enforce the shutdown in areas where it has been met with resentment.

The new rules were also met with legal resistance, as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, filed lawsuits over a provision limiting attendance at indoor religious services to no more than 10 people.

Confusion and dismay reigned as the restrictions began to take effect.

In Brooklyn’s Borough Park section, the scene of two nights of protests against the clampdown by Orthodox Jews, some merchants subject to the shutdown order appeared to be operating as usual at midday, including a barber shop, cellphone stores and a toy store.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said 1,200 city workers would be out on the streets doing enforcement, though some of those efforts involved trying to educate businesses about rules imposed with little warning in hastily drawn zones with confusing borders.

All nonessential businesses in areas designated “red zones” in parts of Queens and Brooklyn by Gov. Andrew Cuomo were supposed to shut. Public and private schools were supposed to close, as well, within both the red zones and surrounding “orange zones” designated by the Democratic governor.

Exactly where those zones began and ended, though, wasn’t easily apparent from maps released by the governor’s office or the city. Parents at one Brooklyn school protested that their school had been shut by the city even though it lay outside the area the governor had designated for school closures.

The new restrictions involve parts of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, sections of Orange and Rockland counties in the

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Businesses shut in effort to contain virus in NYC hot spots

Businesses shut in effort to contain virus in NYC hot spots

NEW YORK — Hundreds of businesses and schools in New York City neighborhoods where coronavirus cases have spiked were closed Thursday by order of the governor, but questions swirled about how effectively officials could enforce the shutdown in areas where it has been met with resentment.

The new rules were also met with legal resistance, as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, filed lawsuits over a provision limiting attendance at indoor religious services to no more than 10 people.

Confusion and dismay reigned as the restrictions began to take effect.

In Brooklyn’s Borough Park section, the scene of two nights of protests against the clampdown by Orthodox Jews, some merchants subject to the shutdown order appeared to be operating as usual at midday, including a barber shop, cellphone stores and a toy store.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said 1,200 city workers would be out on the streets doing enforcement, though some of those efforts involved trying to educate businesses about rules imposed with little warning in hastily drawn zones with confusing borders.

All nonessential businesses in areas designated “red zones” in parts of Queens and Brooklyn by Gov. Andrew Cuomo were supposed to shut. Public and private schools were supposed to close, as well, within both the red zones and surrounding “orange zones” designated by the Democratic governor.

Exactly where those zones began and ended, though, wasn’t easily apparent from maps released by the governor’s office or the city. Parents at one Brooklyn school protested that their school had been shut by the city even though it lay outside the area the governor had designated for school closures.

The new restrictions involve parts of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, sections of Orange and Rockland counties in the Hudson

Read the rest