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Ryan Marcus

Automatic evidence cutter

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Update 3/5/2011:

 

I've created a system to integrate the auto cutter directly into Microsoft Word. I'll probably gear up for a release once I get a Windows version to work.

 

Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3emlDzThVPY

 

Update 11/4:

I've added a Google news auto politics updater. Hard to explain, so check out the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zieS_ABOzdM

 

It'll be released sometime in the near future (perhaps a week or two).

 

Thanks,

Ryan Marcus

 

Update 11/3:

 

Good news everyone! I've released the first version of the cutter which is still kinda buggy. I've created a little bitty website for it: http://marcusfamily.info/ryan/

 

For all of you who offered to beta test: You're on the list for future versions!

 

For everyone: give it a shot, 10 cards for free. Then it's a dollar. Every dollar goes to the brand new debate program at the University of Arizona. I'll continue to watch this thread for comments, as well as my email address.

 

 

 

Original post:

Ever wish your cards were emo so they'd cut themselves?

 

I've been working on an automatic card cutter that takes in an uncut piece of evidence in a tag line and produces an underlined piece of evidence. This is mostly just a pet project of mine, but I figured I could at least ask if anyone else would be interested in its development or using it.

 

The algorithm uses a neural network, a thesaurus, and a recursive backtracking parser to give each sentence fragment a weight. These weights are used to determine the weight of the sentence, which is used to determine what should be underlined.

 

It is far from complete, but it works to an OK extent now. I don't show it in the video, but it even does OK with most (read: not Zizek) K evidence.

 

If there's enough interest, I'd consider improving it, integrating it with Word/Synergy, and releasing it.

 

tl;dr: Check out this cool video and tell me if you think you'd like to use it.

 

Here's a video to demonstrate that I'm not totally full of shit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG86BKezAlQ

Edited by Ryan Marcus
11/4 updates
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This could be really awesome. I'm wondering - in the video, if you look at the text of the cards that the program cuts, it still leaves in the stuff like "X person reported that ____". Could you make the program remove that somehow?

 

Still, you're a bamf.

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First, I love you. This would help get files done so much faster.

Second, I'd like to say that if you would put it on [X], I would buy/download it in a heartbeat.

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Yeah, I would love to see this happen. That would be great. It may not be very word-effective as it weighs full sentences, but we that's still be easy to cut down (I understand that for it to make complete sentences it probably has to weigh full sentences though).

 

EDIT: who neg repped me saying "anal sex" like 50 times?

Edited by Skirtsteak
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If you combined this with a text-to-speech reader, we'd be one step closer to a "Deep Blue" for debate. One day, a robot will win NDT...

Especially when it reads at 9001 words per minute

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Um Ryan... holy shit... one get me this thing when you come back to Los Alamos two how the fuck is it so well programmed three ditto on what the latern 360 said this makes my life less of a lving hell

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This looks like a very interesting piece of technology but I feel that evidence has a soul much the way a person does. In this sense I can't really see a computer getting to the optimal piece of evidence. For instance how does the computer weigh the persuasive quality, style, or aesthetic merit of a line of evidence. Maybe this is just for politics updates or something but I know for sure it isn't going to underline a single one of my cards...I think they are too beautiful to be cut by a piece of technology. If debate is a creative activity there is no way deep blue is coming. I refuse the idea that debate is a closed system in the same way chess is. The moment debate is made into something that a computer could win is the day I leave the activity...or the day the resistance begins anew. Either way fuck Skynet debate.

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This looks like a very interesting piece of technology but I feel that evidence has a soul much the way a person does. In this sense I can't really see a computer getting to the optimal piece of evidence. For instance how does the computer weigh the persuasive quality, style, or aesthetic merit of a line of evidence. Maybe this is just for politics updates or something but I know for sure it isn't going to underline a single one of my cards...I think they are too beautiful to be cut by a piece of technology. If debate is a creative activity there is no way deep blue is coming. I refuse the idea that debate is a closed system in the same way chess is. The moment debate is made into something that a computer could win is the day I leave the activity...or the day the resistance begins anew. Either way fuck Skynet debate.

 

...calm down...its merely a supplement, a tool, like synergy. This can be a very interesting piece of technology, and has many uses. No algorithm can perfectly highlight cards, but it can certainly make life better. It's good to have things like this to help debaters. As long as we keep it in check, and do the actual thinking ourselves.

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This looks like a very interesting piece of technology but I feel that evidence has a soul much the way a person does. In this sense I can't really see a computer getting to the optimal piece of evidence. For instance how does the computer weigh the persuasive quality, style, or aesthetic merit of a line of evidence. Maybe this is just for politics updates or something but I know for sure it isn't going to underline a single one of my cards...I think they are too beautiful to be cut by a piece of technology. If debate is a creative activity there is no way deep blue is coming. I refuse the idea that debate is a closed system in the same way chess is. The moment debate is made into something that a computer could win is the day I leave the activity...or the day the resistance begins anew. Either way fuck Skynet debate.

 

Actually, in terms of style, persuasion, etc., modern linguists are really starting to break it down into a science. Aristotle put it all in motion with ethos, logos, and pathos, and modern researchers have only made it better.

 

Realistically, this is more of a case study in computer comprehension for me, and far less of an attempt to automate debate. But I think you miss the point -- the "artistic", creative, and truly analytic parts of debate don't show themselves with cutting cards. Tagging cards, perhaps. The truly awesome parts of debate is the reactionary strategy, the catch-all blocks, and the intelligent applications of logos (face it, sheer pathos won't fly in front of a good judge) are a long way away from being computerized.

 

I realize you are making a slippery slope argument here, much in the same way that an amish person would probably argue that labor saving devices make us lazy, but it is important to remember that technology is inevitable. It will change the game, but it'll probably never conquer the game.

 

By the way, I'm hoping to have a public release of the card cutter in about two or three weeks -- stay tuned to this thread for the D/L link. If you are especially interested in the cutter and would be willing to do some pretty serious beta testing, drop me a PM and I'll (probably arbitrarily) decide if I want you on the beta list.

 

Edit: also, yes, this is mostly going to be used for politics cards. You should probably still handcut the main cards in your 1AC/shells/blocks and other things you're going to read more than once.

 

Edit2: tl;dr: PM me if you are willing to beta test. Release coming in 2 or 3 weeks. It'll probably not be too high quality.

Edited by Ryan Marcus
Adendum2

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johnny23

 

Also, is there a way that this could be made to auto cut every result on Google News for X term and then sort it into a file? Like, that'd be a ridiculous amount of work, but maybe if you collaborated with someone else you could get it done? Because I hate doing politics updates. I'd probably be willing to pay for that type of software.

Edited by Chaos

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johnny23

 

Also, is there a way that this could be made to auto cut every result on Google News for X term and then sort it into a file? Like, that'd be a ridiculous amount of work, but maybe if you collaborated with someone else you could get it done? Because I hate doing politics updates. I'd probably be willing to pay for that type of software.

 

I'm not quite sure what you are talking about -- do you mean cutting everything within a certain google news search? For example, google news searching "republicans will win the house", then automatically cutting every article that shows up in that search?

 

I think there would be some issues with that -- first, the results of the Google search probably aren't all going to be the cards you want, second, each card should probably have a different tag, and "warrant detection" is a long way off.

 

Am I missing what you are saying?

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If you don't think there is a creative aspect to cutting cards you and I disagree. You guys go ahead and do your thing I am going to do mine. My only point is that I don't think language is a science and I don't care what modern linguistics tells us. I am not interested in science as much as experience and if I were to let this machine cut my cards I would certainly go back and recheck each one of them and that isn't going to save me a lot of time. You folks go right ahead and get your computers to cut politics disads and I will work my way. I am also old school in the sense that I like the feel and smell of an old book. I will take that old book every day over a pdf that is searchable and will save me some time. That is just how I am. Don't fall so in love with this thing so much that you over react to the only discenting voice...it sounds like plenty of folks are ready to give you their ten bucks to join Skynet debate. I will just save my ten and find an nice old book that reminds me that all the data in the world can't replace the interaction a human person has with literature.

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If you don't think there is a creative aspect to cutting cards you and I disagree. You guys go ahead and do your thing I am going to do mine. My only point is that I don't think language is a science and I don't care what modern linguistics tells us. I am not interested in science as much as experience and if I were to let this machine cut my cards I would certainly go back and recheck each one of them and that isn't going to save me a lot of time. You folks go right ahead and get your computers to cut politics disads and I will work my way. I am also old school in the sense that I like the feel and smell of an old book. I will take that old book every day over a pdf that is searchable and will save me some time. That is just how I am. Don't fall so in love with this thing so much that you over react to the only discenting voice...it sounds like plenty of folks are ready to give you their ten bucks to join Skynet debate. I will just save my ten and find an nice old book that reminds me that all the data in the world can't replace the interaction a human person has with literature.

 

Ok.

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I prefer the experience of cutting cards on good DAs vs. the experience of cutting cards for politics.

 

@ Ryan

 

Yes. I'm basically hoping that you are magic.

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