A supercomputer has picked up a few colorful words and phrases thanks to the information stockpiled at the website Urban Dictionary.
The hyper-intelligent IBM computer known as Watson learned to swear thanks to the aforementioned website. According to MSN, a scientist with the company decided to introduce Urban Dictionary into the supercomputer’s vernacular. The end result: one seriously potty-mouthed AI.
IBM employee Eric Brown said he decided to teach Watson some new words from the website nearly two years ago. Once the information had been assimilated, the computer began using foul language to address some of the individuals it interacts with on a regular basis.
The Atlantic reports that the idea behind introducing Urban Dictionary to the artificial intelligence was to teach Watson how humans sometimes interact with one another. The computer, which has won Jeopardy in the past, didn’t have any problem increasing its vocabulary.
The problem arose when Watson began using inappropriate words and phrases with some of the other scientists and researchers. Brown explained that the supercomputer couldn’t distinguish between polite and impolite language.
In order to get Watson back to normal, scientists developed a filter to keep the swear words from emerging. Brown also decided to remove Urban Dictionary from Watson’s memory in order to ensure the AI didn’t pick up any more colorful words down the road.
CNN explains that Brown and his team are having a difficult time teaching the supercomputer how to understand subtlety. Since distinguishing between appropriate and inappropriate language proved to be a little more difficult than scientists imagined, the website was ultimately removed.
Watson’s potty mouth isn’t likely to affect its ability to do its job. Brown said the computer is being groomed as a diagnostics tool for hospitals.
What do you think about the IBM supercomputer that learned to swear with a little help from Urban Dictionary?