Robot Learns To Cuss!
A few years back, IBM’s “Watson” robot beat a chess champion at his own game and even starred on “Jeopardy.”
His next achievement? Learning to cuss like a sailor.
Fox News reports that “Watson” had to have his memory wiped after he memorized the full content of the website UrbanDictionary.com. If you’re unfamiliar with Urban Dictionary, (I wish I was…the things I’ve read on there!) it’s a site that allows anyone from around the world to submit slang terminology and phrases used in today’s culture. One of my favorites is the “cartouchebag,” coined by Stephen Colbert.
Anyway, Watson’s programmers thought that learning everyday “slanguage” would be a great way for the robot to learn how real people communicate.
They didn’t take into account the filthy terms, insults and gross descriptions that makeup a great portion of Urban Dictionary’s content. Poor Watson was unable to make the distinction between socially-appropriate terms and the ones he should keep to his robotic self.
When Watson began to answer researcher’s queries with “bullsh*t,” his Urban Dictionary “studies” were wiped, and he’s now in a position to do no harm: Watson is now being used as a diagnostic tool for hospitals.
Which is good for hospitals, but a total “fail” for Watson.