The Time IBM’s Super Smartass AI Computer Started Swearing At People

If there’s one thing better than a smart computer, is a smartass computer. Remember “Watson”? IBM’s super smart thinking computer that had the ability to answer questions posed in natural language? Well, at one point, the computer started… swearing at people!

It all happened back in 2011 when Eric Brown, the research scientist in charge of Watson, was tasked with the ultimate challenge of not only making a computer think, but be able to carry a conversation with a human being. Only problem is, people tend to use a lot more slang in their day-to-day conversations. According to Brown, “humans don’t realize just how ambiguous our communication is.”

So how did IBM solve this problem? By making Watson memorize all of! (the article continues after the ad)

On paper this was a great idea: Watson could learn all slang words, like “hot mess” or “OMG” which in turn, would easily enable them to have conversations with anyone, no matter what the vernacular. Then again, this is Urban Dictionary we’re talking about here and as anyone who has spent 45 seconds on the site will tell you, it’s the last place you want to send anyone to learn anything intelligent.

Soon Watson was learning words like “ass hat”, “ladyboner”, “front butt” and “ugly cry”. To make matters worse, Watson started reading Wikipedia and picked up even more bad habits finally getting to the point where Watson answered to researchers’ questions by saying: Bullshit!

So what did IBM do?

First, they washed out Watson’s mouth with soap by developing a filter that would prevent it from swearing. Then they went the extra mile and completely wiped all of the data collected from Urban Dictionary.

But hey, at least IBM learned how difficult is going to be for future artificial intelligence to communicate naturally with humans.

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: The Hilarious Story Of How Burglars Were Once Able To Steal Classified Records From The FBI 

Photos: GeekWire, The Huffington Post
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Source: IBM’s Watson Memorized the Entire ‘Urban Dictionary,’ Then His Overlords Had to Delete ItIBM’s Watson Gets A ‘Swear Filter’ After Learning The Urban Dictionary

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