Skip to main content

IBM's Watson Memorizes Urban Dictionary... and Now Needs a Swear Filter

IBM's Watson wowed the world when it bested Ken Jennings at Jeopardy! and then again when it proved capable of helping doctors

diagnosing patients. Now, Watson can awe the world with its in depth knowledge of curse words.

What brought on Watson's foul mouth? Apparently, IBM research scientist Eric Brown wanted to make Watson sound a little more human and introduced the supercomputer to Urban Dictionary in an attempt to do so. Unfortunately, while Watson learned plenty of human slang from the site, it also picked up Urban Dictionary's jungle of sexual slang and swear words. The supercomputer, unable to distinguish polite from impolite conversation, began to use profanity in conversation.

To tone Watson's language back down to PG-13, Brown and his team were forced to purge Urban Dictionary from Watson's vocabulary and set down a filter to prevent the supercomputer from cussing.

For now, Brown will continue training Watson for patient diagnosis in hospitals. Thankfully, Watson won't be delivering his diagnosis to patients with the added help of Urban Dictionary.

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback