There’s a lot of things IBM’s Watson knows, which apparently makes him a great conversationalist. One thing Watson doesn’t know are some of the cool, hip terms kids are using these days like Healthy Gas, Broscience and cargo bloating. Which is why the folks at IBM decided to make Watson be more hip with the youth, he would learn the entire Urban Dictionary. It turns out that was a terrible, terrible idea.
IBM’s Research Manager, Eric Brown, thought it would be great for Watson to understand the way real people communicate by learning all of Urban Dictionary. The big problem was many of the entries were filled with bad language, which we’re sure you’ve come across with on your daily travels. And so, Brown’s team was forced to delete it all from Watson’s memory.
“Watson couldn’t distinguish between polite language and profanity — which the Urban Dictionary is full of. Watson picked up some bad habits from reading Wikipedia as well. In tests it even used the word “bullshit” in an answer to a researcher’s query.
Ultimately, Brown’s 35-person team developed a filter to keep Watson from swearing and scraped the Urban Dictionary from its memory.”