What is AI?

The precise definition of artificial intelligence (AI) is disputed among researchers in the technology industry. Some common questions asked by researchers are ones like: What distinguishes AI from other computational software? What does it mean for a being or a computer to be intelligent?

It is important to think about these questions as you conduct research for your cases, but the following standard is broadly accepted in the field. An AI system can identify patterns in large, complex data sets without explicit programming instructions, and use those patterns to respond to changes in its environment. Based on this definition, a robot that performs a repetitive task on a car assembly line does not qualify as AI, while a self-driving car…

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Using evidence to win debates

When to use evidence

If you say the sky is green, and your opponent says the sky is blue, even if you backup your claim with what seems like sound reasoning, it might 

still not be believed by the judge. Citing a qualified author at the right moment, or referencing a study when rebutting a point by your opponents can often make the difference between winning and losing a debate.

This doesn’t mean that you have to use a piece of evidence in every argument you make. But as long as what you say is a piece of common knowledge, or your point is backed up by sound logic, evidence is not always necessary. For example if I claim that “Russia and America often disagree about international issues,” that is something that anyone who reads a newspaper would know, so I don’t need evidence. And based on that I use analysis to make predictions…

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Writing blocks

Students often find the rebuttal speech, and other later speeches in the debate more difficult than the constructive speeches because the speeches require quickly responding to arguments the student has just heard. One way to make this easier is to prepare “blocks”.

A “block” is a prepared bit of speech that you can use in your rebuttal speech in response to an argument. (The name “block” comes form the idea of building a speech out of smaller parts in the same way you might build a house or tower out of blocks.)

If you have prepared both sides of a topic you can make reasonable guesses about what arguments the opponent will make. So you can prepare replies to them in advance. This means you don’t have to think…

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This article was written by our amazing intern Cindy Zhang, one of the best high school debaters in China soon to be studying at Georgetown University. 

Crossfire is one of the most confusing part of Public Forum Debate.

During crossfire, speakers from Team A–which gives the first speech–get to ask the first question. There are three crossfires in a debate: one between the first and the second speaker, second between the third and the fourth speaker and finally between all debaters. Different from other parts of Public Forum Debate, Crossfire has few rules, allowing debaters to question their opponents freely. Despite this freedom, there is a clear line between effective and ineffective crossfire.

let’s look at a few useless kinds…

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How to train your peers

This post was written by our excellent former intern Jianxiong Zhang, who having previously been one of our best high school debaters and coaching the younger students at his own school, spent a year working with us, and is now studying at Carleton College. Before he left us we asked him to write up some advice for other students hoping to help their peers learn and improve. 

 

You have done lots of Debates and…

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This is an issue that many debaters struggle with, especially when both sides are using research that seems to support their side but from different sources. For example with the Spring 2016 topic, that China should introduce a Carbon Tax,  a lot of debaters argued "Country X's carbon tax doesn't apply to this debate because it's not China and so it's not relevant!" This argument annoys me, and I think that in its most basic form, it isn’t valid. It's only valid when made in the presence of specific, detailed analysis.

There's an idea called the "principle of relevant difference" which is that you should only treat two things differently if there is an important difference between them. This is actually a…

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Every year in late December/early January the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) takes place. Each year it has over 400 teams, and 1000+ total participants, making it one of the largest debating events in the world.  This  year it is being hosted by the 

It has increasingly become a spectator sport in recent years, with thousands of people tuning in online (and out-rounds broadcast on TV sometimes). Watching WUDC debates is a great way to improve your own debating, by seeing some of the best debaters in the world in action, and to cheer on your favourites. debating society of Greece in Thessaloniki. 

Livestreams of…

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Advice on attending a major international tournament

As the World University Debating Championships in Thessaloniki are approaching we thought it would be good to share some advice for attending large international tournaments. Even if you have attended lots of competitions in your home circuit these can be very different, due to the length, size and international aspects.
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We were incredibly happy to work with the amazing convening team from Asia Pacific University at this terrific event.

Teams from all over Asia competed for 6 gruelling rounds of World Schools format debating. On topics that ranged from: the situation in the South China Sea; Education policy; Animal sentience; LGBT rights; ASEAN membership; the TPPA; the role of religion in politics and even to the ethical implications of uploading our minds into computers.

The students dealt with all these topics intelligently and passionately, making some amazing arguments at all levels. The final debates which our Academic Director John Harper and International Outreach Coordinator Daryl Louis Isla had the privilege of judging were absolutely spectacular and would compare favourably with any university level debate. 

The quality of these young debaters gives us great hope for the future of debating in the region, and we look forward to seeing you all again at future…

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By Hannah Herman

1. Engagement Matters. Apathy is fatal, in more ways than one. It kills your mind, because you cease to think, question, and explore; it kills compromise, because you refuse to understand others, much less listen to them; it kills others and causes them to suffer, because you fail to act decisively on urgent issues. Debate has shown me how little engagement actually happens when it matters most—politics, social issues, economic policy—and it has both empowered and inspired me to constantly seek engagement.

2. There is a world outside of campus. Academics aren’t everything, and there exist billions of people outside of your school. Don’t waste four years living in a bubble. Meet people, talk to people, befriend people who are different than you. Ask insightful questions to people who aren’t professors. Know the world beyond your classroom windows. Campus is the place you live for four or six years; out there is where you will live until you…

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Fall 2017 Topic

"The Benefits Of Using Artificial Intelligence Outweigh The Harms"

 

Topic Introduction

Research Packet

Sample cases: Pro Side & Con Side

2018 Winter Programs

  • Winter Debate Camp
  • Stanford and Harvard Invitational Tournaments

Learn more

Contact us

Email: contact@agdebate.com

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          CN: +86 010 59002305

The Association for Global Debate (AGD) is a team of passionate debaters, organizers, teachers, judges, and parents who support the growth of debating across different countries and regions. As a support network, AGD strives to connect high school debating events, leagues, and societies to resources and experts, both local and foreign. We provide free resources for tournament and debate team organizers who need academic, organizational, or financial assistance.