The Future Will See You Now

Ratchet, My Dear Watson: Urban Dictionary Gives IBM’s Supercomputer a Filthy Mouth

WTF.
(Photo: The Morton Report)

(Photo: The Morton Report)

In order to pass the Turing Test, a computer must display both emotional and intellectual behavior that’s almost indistinguishable from that of humans. IBM’s most famous supercomputer, Watson, is close, but first he must emulate one of humanity’s finer inventions: crazy Internet slang. YOLO!

According to Fortune, researchers at IBM attempted to indoctrinate Watson into the wonderful world of LOL and OMG, but in the process they accidentally caused the supercomputer to develop a bit of a filthy mouth. As it turned out, Watson “couldn’t distinguish between polite language and profanity,” and curse words lifted from Urban Dictionary and Wikipedia began sneaking into his lexicon. He even began responding to some researcher queries with the retort “Bullshit!” (Though, to be fair, it has to be so annoying to work with mere human mortals when you’re a supercomputer.)

In the end, the IBM researchers had to create a filter that would stop Watson from cursing, as well as wipe his memory of all Urban Dictionary information.

If only we could do the same.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com

Comments

  1. Tomma says:

    Reblogged this on Tomma's recipes and commented:
    A Watson (il supercomputer IBM) viene insegnato tutto lo slang di Urban Dictionary. Il risultato è facilmente immaginabile. L’unico commento, in linea con l’articolo, non può che essere LOL.