Teaching IBM’s Watson the meaning of “OMG”

Fortune:

Two years ago, Brown attempted to teach Watson the Urban Dictionary. The popular website contains definitions for terms ranging from Internet abbreviations like OMG, short for “Oh, my God,” to slang such as “hot mess.”

But 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.

Can you imagine how freaked out that guy was when Watson responded with that?



  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1042792179 Brian M. Monroe

    Just goes to show you that the technology still has a ways to go before it gets what we are saying, if ever. Language is always in flux so Watson will always be learning.

    • Daniel Swanson

      Watson will always be “behind”, as it’s a machine and can only RESPOND to events or prior programming–never ORIGINATE them. The flaw in all of these superstitious fears of machines “taking over” someday is a confusion and/or false data as to exactly what life is.

      • pawhite524

        You have made an excellent “devil’s advocate” observation. If I was a science fiction writer with you in the story line I would have an automaton do something to get you to stop your reasonableness. I am not a science fiction writer and applaud your post but as a sci-fi movie lover if you sit next to me in your reasonableness and say one word out loud in the movie I will lock you in the men’s room (Joking!)

        Best wishes!

        • Daniel Swanson

          Hey, don’t worry. I enjoy a good yarn, too. The Terminator series was an excellent one–BECAUSE I know that machines will never be able to replace live beings.

          • pawhite524

            Agreed!

  • http://twitter.com/benroethig Benjamin J. Roethig

    So it turned Watson into Jim

  • pawhite524

    I would rather hear Watson say Bullshit than “I can’t do that Dave.”