Don’t argue with these know-all computers

The British University in Dubai (BUiD) is researching the feasibility of networks of computers becoming capable of conducting business discussions and legal arguments.

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By  Administrator Published  April 1, 2007

The British University in Dubai (BUiD) is researching the feasibility of networks of computers becoming capable of conducting business discussions and legal arguments.

Among the advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments the BUiD's Institute of Informatics team is researching is the potential for multiple computers to argue and negotiate in a fully or semi-automated market in order to influence the price of goods and services.

"Argumentation and negotiation are key elements of human communication and if we are able to replicate these processes in computer networks, we will have the potential to have a fully-automated marketplace which achieves compromise through dialogue," commented Dr. Iyad Rahwan, a lecturer at BUiD's Institute of Informatics.

"The impact of this development would be hugely significant for both businesses and communities across the world," Rahwan, who is leading the research added.

Prospective applications for this research include the use of AI in legal disputes, business negotiations, labour disputes, scientific inquiry, risk analysis, scheduling, logistics and even democratic debate.

"The theory of argumentation is really fascinating in so many areas. It is a rich, interdisciplinary area of research involving philosophy, communications studies, linguistics, psychology, logic and, more recently, artificial intelligence.

"Applying argumentation in artificial intelligence is a very challenging problem and requires the construction of very sophisticated mathematical models of dialogue."

Dr. Abdullah M. Alshamsi, vice chancellor of BUiD, added: "It is a source of great pride to us that a Middle East University is engaged in advanced research that is being recognised around the world."

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