AI-Powered Debate is an innovative activity where students engage with artificially generated debate topics and arguments. Leveraging the capabilities of AI, students are exposed to a range of debate perspectives, allowing them to expand their horizons and challenge their argumentative prowess against machine intelligence.
We understand that the education community is at a crossroads when it comes to AI and other similar technologies. AI can be a powerful tool as long as you help students understand its use as an aid, not as a replacement for hard work. We encourage you to follow your comfort level and any guidelines set by your school when it comes to using AI in your classroom.
This activity fuses the power of AI with the traditional debate format, offering students an unusual but enriching debate experience. It is especially useful for intermediate to advanced students who are familiar with conventional debate structures and are looking to stretch their argumentative boundaries. The AI’s involvement ensures that students are exposed to new, diverse, and unexpected angles on a topic, prompting them to think on their feet and improvise.
- Structured Argumentation: Students will learn to formulate and deliver well-structured arguments, harnessing the AI’s input while adding their personal touch.
- Critical Thinking & Persuasion: Given the unpredictability of AI-generated arguments, students will sharpen their ability to think critically and quickly, refining their persuasive skills.
- AI Interaction: Students will familiarize themselves with the capabilities and limitations of AI in debate, learning to respond effectively to AI-powered reasoning.
Introduction: Start by introducing students to the objective of the activity, focusing on the role of AI in enhancing the debate experience. “Today, we’ll be diving into debates using AI-generated arguments. This will test our ability to think on our feet, adapt, and engage with a variety of perspectives.”
Formation of Groups: Divide the class into pairs or small teams, ensuring a diverse mix in each group to foster varied viewpoints and teamwork.
AI Tool Familiarization: Introduce the AI tool, in this case, ChatGPT. Display how to input queries, how to generate debate topics, and how to request arguments for specific topics. “For instance, if our topic is ‘Should AI be integrated into classrooms?’, we can ask ChatGPT to provide arguments for and against.”
Topic Generation: Use ChatGPT to generate a debate topic for the class. Example: “Should society rely on renewable energy sources over non-renewable ones?”
- Argument Generation: On the main screen, input to ChatGPT: “Provide three arguments in favor of relying on renewable energy sources.” Once you receive the AI’s response, repeat for the opposing view: “Provide three arguments against relying on renewable energy sources.”
- Assignment: Distribute the AI-generated arguments to the corresponding groups. “Group A, you’ll be defending the benefits of renewable energy sources using these arguments, while Group B, you’ll counter with these points.”
Preparation Time: Allow groups around 15-20 minutes to dive into the AI’s arguments, encouraging them to do additional research or infuse their personal experiences and insights to strengthen their stance.
Debate Execution: Initiate the debates, with each group presenting their arguments. Facilitate the discussions ensuring they remain respectful and constructive.
Switch Roles: For a challenging twist, after one round, switch the stances of the groups, asking them to argue for the opposing side using fresh AI-generated arguments. If possible, have students input their arguments into ChatGPT and have the AI respond to their arguments.
Example Workflow Using ChatGPT:
- Access ChatGPT.
- Input: “Suggest a debate topic related to environmental conservation.”
- Once you receive a topic like “Should society shift entirely to electric vehicles by 2030?”, split it into two stances.
- Input for stance 1: “Provide three arguments in favor of society shifting entirely to electric vehicles by 2030.”
- Input for stance 2: “Provide three arguments against society shifting entirely to electric vehicles by 2030.”
- Distribute the arguments among the teams and proceed with the debate.
- By integrating ChatGPT into the debate structure, students not only engage with diverse AI-generated perspectives but also learn how to effectively use modern tools to bolster their public speaking and debate skills.
Review: This activity serves as a bridge between traditional debating techniques and the evolving world of AI, preparing students for a future where man-machine collaboration is ubiquitous. As you review the activity with students, consider incorporating the following:
- Reflection: Engage students in a reflective conversation about their experience. Did the AI-generated arguments challenge them? Were they predictable or surprising?
- Skills Highlight: Reiterate the importance of adaptability, critical thinking, and the role of technology in modern debates.
- AI’s Role: Dive deeper into the advantages and potential pitfalls of integrating AI into debates. Discuss the potential ethical considerations and the future of AI-augmented public speaking.
- Feedback Loop: Encourage students to provide feedback on the activity itself, suggesting improvements and sharing what they found most beneficial. If you inputted your arguments to ChatGPT, what were the responses? Did the AI provide strong rebuttals to your arguments?
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