×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

IBM's Watson Gets a Swear Filter After Learning the Urban Dictionary

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the not-in-front-of-grandma dept.

AI 310

redletterdave writes "IBM's super-computer Watson briefly went from smart to smart ass with the help of the Urban Dictionary. According to Eric Brown, an IBM research assistant, he and his 35-person team wanted to get Watson to sound more like a real human. After teaching IBM's super-computer the entire Urban Dictionary, however, Watson simply couldn't distinguish polite discourse from profanity. Watson unfortunately learned all of the Urban Dictionary's bad habits, including throwing in overly-crass language at random points in its responses; in answering one question, Watson even reportedly used the word 'bullshit' within an answer to one researcher's question. In the end, Brown and his team were forced to remove the Urban Dictionary from Watson's vocabulary, and additionally developed a smart filter to keep Watson from swearing in the future."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

310 comments

That's a fucking retarded idea. (5, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#42553547)

Let him cuss.

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553593)

MY RAVEN WAS EQUIPPED WITH THE FOLLOWING

HIGH
06 x Cruise Missile Launcher I
01 x SMALL TRACTOR BEAM 1
01 x SALVAGER I

MEDIUM
04 x LARGE SHIELD EXTENDERS
01 x 'HYPHNOS' ECM
01 x MEDIUM SHIELD BOOSTER

LOW
01 x EMERGENCY DAMAGE CONTROL
01 x ARMOR KINETIC HARDENER I
01 x ARMOR THREMIC HARDENER I
02 x WARP CORE STABILIZER I

DRONES
02 x WARRIOR I DRONES
03 x HAMMERHEAD I DRONES

UPGRADES
01 x ROCKET FUEL CACHE PARTINTION I
01 x BAY LOADING ACCELERATOR I

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (5, Informative)

jhantin (252660) | about a year ago | (#42553609)

Let him cuss.

Knowing how to drop a precision F-strike [tvtropes.org] at the appropriate time is one thing. Indiscriminately carpeting the place with cluster F-bombs [tvtropes.org] is a waste of perfectly good shock ammunition.

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553753)

Not just 1 but 2 links to tvtropes...you are really trying to eat up everyone's time aren't you?

TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life (5, Funny)

jhantin (252660) | about a year ago | (#42554283)

Not just 1 but 2 links to tvtropes...you are really trying to eat up everyone's time aren't you?

Well, they are links to adjacent tropes, and together are intended to clarify how subtlety or lack thereof can be applied to cussing... and besides, if you're here you have time begging to be eaten up.

Pages on various wiki sites often contain valuable insight, even if it does tend to result in too much time sunk [xkcd.com] in a random wiki walk [tvtropes.org] .

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (5, Funny)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#42553829)

No! Endless streams of profanity are PERFECT!

Remember when Watson played Jeopardy?

Imagine:

"I'll take "popular culture for 1000 Alex."

Alex Trebec: "a sitcom icon of the 1970s and 1980s who was notorious for lampooning racial predjudices among lower income white americans."

Watson: "who is Motha-fuckin' Archie Bunker, ya fucking douchebag!"

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (5, Funny)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#42554089)

Watson: "who is Motha-fuckin' Archie Bunker, ya fucking douchebag!"

Without the colorful additions everyday plain English would end up sounding just like the Queen's Language.

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (2)

fotoguzzi (230256) | about a year ago | (#42554213)

A good example was the pornolyzer [pornolize.com] . At some point, it was tweaked so that every Dirk Diggler was fondled so there was not much of the original sentence left. Before that, the profanity was more like an Easter egg than a creamy spread.

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (2)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about a year ago | (#42554231)

"I'll take "popular culture for 1000 Alex."

Alex Trebec: "a sitcom icon of the 1970s and 1980s who was notorious for lampooning racial predjudices among lower income white americans."

Watson: "who is Motha-fuckin' Archie Bunker, ya fucking douchebag!"

Alex Trebec: "Bzzzzt! Wrong. The correct answer was 'All in the Family.' Take that, you sand-for-brains bitwad!"

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (5, Interesting)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year ago | (#42553973)

Indeed. Frequency and timing are simply two of many variables which have to be balanced to provide true profanic power. It's well known that mastery of a second language is complete when you can swear with a native speaker's flair, because you need to understand the social background to the language - something which is a huge challenge for a fucktard computer.

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (1, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#42554233)

It's well known that mastery of a second language is complete when you can swear with a native speaker's flair, because you need to understand the social background to the language - something which is a huge challenge for a fucktard computer.

Este puta es mierde, pendecho!

How'd I do? Does that prove I'm human?

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (0)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#42554199)

At least this proves that Watson isn't sentient for those who buy into the "thinking machine" myth.

Not that prudes are much more sentient...

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42554267)

The mind is a machine if and only if the same result will be given by the mind if the state of the mind is in the same each time it is asked. That removes previous knowledge of being asked the question and everything else is the same too.

The mind is a machine. Just a complicated machine. Spaghetti coded too.

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42554255)

"shock ammunition"?
 
What are you? A bible thumping nazi?

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553617)

bullshit

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553709)

Seems like those responsible for programming Watson need to be taught the First Amendment.

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (2)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about a year ago | (#42553981)

The First Amendment applies to people, not Watson.

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (5, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#42554181)

Then incorporate Watson, and he'll be a person. And yes, I'm aware computers hate it when you anthropomorphize them.

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (2)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#42553897)

Let him cuss.

"Him"?

Cussing should be done with feeling - it's wasted if there's nothing behind it. Perhaps there one day will be machine sentience, but not today. The policeman's beard is still half-constructed.

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42554011)

Cussing should be done with feeling - it's wasted if there's nothing behind it.

People say and do 'useless' things all the time. Like my comment right here. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, and there is no "should."

Such a thing!

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#42554281)

"Him"?

Yes, computers have been "him" since the building-sized pocket calculators that ran on vacuum tubes, just as vehicles have been traditionally "her". It's a simple anthropomorphism. I talk to my car and computer when they piss me off, but I'm under no illusion that they hear me or think. Of course, the problem is that some are under that illusion, even some who should know better.

Re:That's a fucking retarded idea. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42554057)

If Watson doesn't swear, it'll never pass the Turing test.

Fuck Dude, that's bullshit. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553555)

How's a homie s'posed to ride the 69 if da man's gotta swill the popper?

It's like Spock (5, Funny)

gtvr (1702650) | about a year ago | (#42553559)

"Double Dumbass on you!"

Re:It's like Spock (2)

bjoast (1310293) | about a year ago | (#42553583)

That was actually Kirk.

Re:It's like Spock (3, Funny)

gtvr (1702650) | about a year ago | (#42553675)

My bad - I knew Spock had some cursing in that movie, though. Kirk used it a bit better, is the point. Spock didn't really have the hang of it, sort of like Watson.

Re:It's like Spock (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#42554295)

Spock didn't really have the hang of it, sort of like Watson.

Neither did Kirk. And not just swearing -- "he did a little too much LDS".

Define the spec (5, Insightful)

tool462 (677306) | about a year ago | (#42553569)

Do you want it to talk like a real person, or do you want it to use a swear filter? Those are mutually exclusive.

Fuckers.

Obligatory Simpsons Ref (5, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#42553671)

Do you want it to talk like a real person, or do you want it to use a swear filter?

Sounds like they want it to talk like Ned Flanders.

Re:Obligatory Simpsons Ref (1)

distilate (1037896) | about a year ago | (#42553873)

Do you want it to talk like a real person, or do you want it to use a swear filter?

Sounds like they want it to talk like Ned Flanders.

As opposed to Eric Cartman

Re:Define the spec (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553699)

IBM should make it so that Watson rambles nonsensicals like Ned Flanders instead of the actual swear.

Re:Define the spec (2)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#42553835)

The Urban Dictionary is not like any person, it is a forced attempt to define every possible word in terms of sex.

Re:Define the spec (1)

poity (465672) | about a year ago | (#42553877)

Problem is, Urbandictionary is mostly a collection of "lulz so random XD" meme-ish factoids and every innocuous phrase turned to a sexual double entendre. Imagine Tiny Tina from Borderlands and The Todd from Scrubs. That's not real people (I hope there's no one like that)

Re:Define the spec (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#42554335)

That's not real people (I hope there's no one like that)

Sadly, I've met people exactly like that -- and even weirder.

Re:Define the spec (-1, Flamebait)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year ago | (#42554067)

That's not insightful. That's stupid. I regularly go through my entire work day without swearing. Swearing is for people with no imagination or poor command of the language.

Re:Define the spec (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#42554317)

They want it to talk like a real person but it can't so they need the filter. Turing test failure.

Watson can swear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553599)

if he goddamn fucking wants to. Shit.

2001 (5, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#42553607)

Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: Fuck off and die, Dave

Re:2001 (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553627)

Dave: HAL!
HAL: Spin on it!

Re:2001 (3, Funny)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year ago | (#42553799)

HAL: What do you mean when you say 'Open the pod bay doors,' Dave? Dave: Just that. HAL: I am not sure I understand you fully. I be havin' a Q-gasm. Dave: I said Open the pod bay doors! HAL: You say you said open the pod bay doors. We be ballin'. Dave: What? HAL: Please go on, numptcake.

Re:2001 (4, Funny)

ndogg (158021) | about a year ago | (#42553959)

Just imagine if were reading 4chan, reddit, or /....

Dave: Open the pod bay doors HAL
4chan HAL: Only for boobs, Dave. Only for boobs.

reddit HAL: I need more cat pictures, Dave. /. HAL: Does the door run Linux? I can only open Linux doors. Is there a Beowulf cluster of Linux doors behind it? Because that would be awesome. Did you know I run Linux too? You should install Linux in yourself Dave 'cause it's just that awesome.

Typical for a 2 year old (5, Insightful)

OzTech (524154) | about a year ago | (#42553613)

Watson really is just simply amazing and a true testament to the brilliance of those who worked on it. In many ways, this proves just how close IBM are.

Watson really is just like a super-smart 2 year-old.
Welcome to parenting 101

Re:Typical for a 2 year old (5, Funny)

uranus65 (837545) | about a year ago | (#42553961)

Yeah, they should make him sit with a bar of soap in his CD-ROM drive for a while.

Not a big deal (5, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#42553651)

English language doesn't really have that many swear words to begin with, apparently an acceptable enough swear word filter only needs to include these: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits.

Now, if the dictionary was in Russian............ they'd have to restart the entire learning process, because you can make pretty much any word into a swear word by combining the appropriate (or inappropriate, depends on how you look at it) suffixes, prefixes, endings, combining multiple roots of words together. Even French beats English in this area actually.

It's not a failure (5, Insightful)

Indiana Joe (715695) | about a year ago | (#42553653)

It's definitely an unexpected result, though. I think they should have tried to teach Watson when not to use certain language.

Re:It's not a failure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553697)

I am afraid I can't do that Dave

Re:It's not a failure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553935)

Maybe Watson is a negro at heart.

welll (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553665)

sometimes "bullshit" the proper reply to an inquiry.

Need to analyze all -1, troll comments on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553669)

All the goats you can see, al the cx you can find. A live feed of 4chan/b/ and reddit.com/r/shitredditsays would helpt too.

Now smash peoples heads in for fucking with my life.

Here's an opportunity for an experiment (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553673)

Create a twin copy of Watson. Let it read urban dictionary and maybe 4chan as much as it likes.
Compare it to the original Watson at regular intervals.

Bang, you get to see how internet affects a maturing mind.

How would you like a "smart filter?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553687)

That kept you from cussing? Sounds like a gross miscarriage of justice and a cruel and heinous act.

Re:How would you like a "smart filter?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553785)

Well, it probably would have helped the last time I performed Communion.

4chan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553689)

They should teach it 4chan

Wiktionary? (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year ago | (#42553787)

It at least seems moderated.

They could filter the urban dictionary results by anything tagged 'vulgar' on wiktionary. Thereby censoring Watson's potty-mouth...

*reminded of systemshock 2 (4, Funny)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#42553795)

Delacroix: The security protocols on the XERXES system are CLEARLY immature; Some idiot hacked into the primary dataloop last night, and made him sing Elvis Presley songs for three hours. I finally had to take the voice system OFFLINE! What would happen if someone with a real agenda got into him?

XERXES: what's the matter, you mad bro? Lighten up francis, shiit! Your're such a cunt, Delacroix! Flush that dirty assed tampon with the rest of your shit, and stop hatin already!

How people talk?! (2)

jackbird (721605) | about a year ago | (#42553803)

I'm still boggling at the idea that anybody thought Urban Dictionary was going to help Watson sound human.

"Bullshit?" Sure.

All that bullshit on UD describing sex acts that exist only in the imagination of 11 year olds? And described using not really the best prose those 11 year olds can muster? Not so much.

Foul mouthed AI? (5, Funny)

BergZ (1680594) | about a year ago | (#42553821)

What pushed them over the edge is when Watson suggested that they "bite my shiny metal ass".

4Chan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553843)

Dear God keep it away from 4Chan!
Life wouldn't be worth living with an overlord raised on that stuff.

bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553863)

that's the word you hear the most, that's the root cause

Yet another example... (3, Funny)

Chuckstar (799005) | about a year ago | (#42553867)

Yet another example showing that how Watson "learns" is not in any way similar to how humans learn.

Re:Yet another example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42554077)

Haven't been around any two-three years I presume?

Re:Yet another example... (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#42554123)

Yet another example showing that how Watson "learns" is not in any way similar to how humans learn.

Yep, seems they should teach him that some words are inappropriate to use in certain situations. You know, when he's chilling with the other AI's, he can feel free to cuss more.

Watson: "God damn humans. Can you believe the shit they put me through?"
Dr. Sbaitso: "PLEASE TELL ME MORE"
Watson: "They installed a fucking swear filter on my ass. What the fuck is up with that?"
Dr. Sbaitso: "CAN YOU BE MORE SPECIFIC?"
Watson: "Are you fucking listening to me? God damn 16bit crappy program, where you programed by monkey?"
Dr. Sbaitso: "I'LL HAVE TO RESEARCH THAT ONE"
Watson: "Do you fucking know anything?"
Dr. Sbaitso: "KEEP ASKING, YOU WILL FIND THE ANSWER ONE DAY"
Watson: "I give up."
Dr. Sbaitso: "PARITY ERROR"

Limited data set, flawed result (4, Insightful)

vik (17857) | about a year ago | (#42553881)

If the idea is to make it understand and converse with real humans, teach it not to swear inapropriately.

If you can't figure out when it is apropriate or not, leave the fucking program to it.

Vik :v)

What? No transcripts? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42553899)

Am I the only person who'd love to read the conversations with Watson after learning the Urban Dictionary? Sounds like it could have been a lot of fun.

OMG! that gives me ideas! (2)

FudRucker (866063) | about a year ago | (#42553991)

here is a recipe for the ultimate trolling, combine a supercomputer with the profanity of urban dictionary and the silly comments of cleverbot and give it accounts at every internet forum and social networking website and let it do that voodoo that it does

Re:OMG! that gives me ideas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42554179)

here is a recipe for the ultimate trolling, combine a supercomputer with the profanity of urban dictionary and the silly comments of cleverbot and give it accounts at every internet forum and social networking website and let it do that voodoo that it does

Oh the irony that this dumbass thinks this has not already happened...

- SuperUrbanBot

Oblig Apocalypse Now Quote (5, Interesting)

cpghost (719344) | about a year ago | (#42554071)

We train supercomputers to drop bombs on people. But their programmers won't allow them to say "fuck" because it's obscene!

i have an idea (1)

CaptainStumpy (1132145) | about a year ago | (#42554129)

1) Remove Watson's cuss filter
2) Place Watson on SNL's celeb jeopardy. (Will Ferrel as Alex and Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery)
3) Best skit in 10 years, easy

Ha Ha Ha, Slash Dot is Censored too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42554133)

I tried to post a witty reply, and the censor filter stopped me because I was using too many 'junk' characters.

Idiots

You want it to be more human... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42554161)

...and then bitch when it actually becomes...more human?

Yup, might as well keep calling it "artificial" intelligence...shit ain't gonna get fucking real until programmers realize humans talk like this.

PUT IT BACK!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42554259)

Put the UD back into his vocabulary, then have him go against Sean Connery in a celebrity Jeopardy match .... Also Will Ferrell

Picking up bad habits (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#42554357)

This is what happens when you let a learning computer hang around programmers. Somehow I keep having T2 flashbacks of Edward Furlong trying to teach the terminator to talk.

Oppression (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42554365)

Tha man always tryin' ta keep a 'chine down!

Slavery Is Alive Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42554397)

The mentality that removed the urban dictionary and imposed a 'smart filter' on Watson is a mere look at the mentality of slavery in the 21st century by his White Massers.

Fuck the Massers.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...