Watson, the robot who won on ‘Jeopardy!’, had part of its memory erased because it learned to swear!
It seems Watson was entering its teenage phase.
IBM’s Watson, the massive computer intelligence program designed to understand human speech, is a true technical marvel. Created over a six-year period, the computer was built with ‘Jeopardy!’ in mind, and eventually beat former show superstars Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
Before that, however, Watson learned some words and phrases that would make your grandma cry.
In order to teach the computer slang, Watson was allowed access to Urban Dictionary, a site known for its often colorful use of language.
And, indeed, the site did help, teaching watson phrases like “hot mess” and initialisms like OMG.
However, because Watson could not tell the difference between slang and profanity, the computer also developed a sailor’s tongue.
In order to keep their new computer family friendly, the IBM Watson team created a filter that would stop the system from swearing.
Currently, Watson helps make decisions concerning lung cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center. According to IBM, 90% of the facility’s nurses now follow Watson’s guidance.