IBM Supercomputer Starts Swearing

The IBM-developed artificial intelligence computer system named Watson is capable of answering questions posed in natural language. It was specifically developed to answer questions on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! In 2011, the supercomputer competed on the sitcom against two former winners and won the $1 million prize.

Eric Brown, a research scientist with IBM, is responsible for the creation and tutoring of Watson. Its purpose was, as an artificial intelligence, to beat the Turing test. This means that if Watson were to chat with a human and that person could not tell whether the correspondent was man or machine, then Watson would pass the test.

It caused havoc after making obscene outbursts after memorizing the contents of the Urban Dictionary. The website contains slang that is part of informal conversation today, but is not considered appropriate for polite conversation. So great was the damage that Watson’s programmers had to wipe out its memory after they could find no way of stopping the supercomputer from swearing profusely.

As Watson formulates replies based on the working of several supercomputers together, it had put together some words and started responding to many of the questions posed with bulls***.

The original article has reported it as follows,

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 “bulls***” 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. But the trial proves just how thorny it will be to get artificial intelligence to communicate naturally. Brown is now training Watson as a diagnostic tool for hospitals. No knowledge of OMG required.

For the IBM programmers working on Watson, that was certainly a very interesting day at work.

Alphabet Chart For Next Generation

For ever since I have known, we have thought our kids the English Alphabets using objects that pertain to an alphabet. For example, we have learnt the alphabets by using “A for Apple”, “B for Ball”, “C for cat” and so on.

However, technology has changed our generation and we have become so advanced now that we do need to change which object we relate to an alphabet. And my friend Jatin Sapra (http://about.me/jatinsapra) has done something similar.

Here is an alphabet chart which relates the alphabet to technologies that rock the world today. Kudos to Jatin on this, he said that he did it because he was bored. Now the question is whether you would want to teach your child using the below alphabet chart? Hit me with your comments. (picture after the jump)

Ask Fake Kirk – Star Trek Chatbot Speaks to Anyone

This blew me away when I first saw it. Apparently some people at Pandorabot have figured out how to create a decent chat bot in 24 hours or less by simply feeding it old transcripts and dialogs.

If you are a Trekkie, or simply curious, you must have a chat with Fake Kirk. This Captain Kirk look-alike bot will try to carry on a conversation with you. You will be amazed or disappointed, but you won’t come away without an opinion.

fake-kirk-cameo

Here’s what happened when I went on a 5 minute mission to explore a new website. I am the Lieutenant in the chat below.

Captain’s Log:

Lieutenant: What is the Star Date?
Fake Kirk: Stardate Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

Lieutenant: Where is Spock?
Fake Kirk: He is on the planet.Lieutenant: Do you love Tribbles?
Fake Kirk: Only a few of them.Lieutenant: What is the meaning of life?
Fake Kirk: Our five year mission: to seek out new worlds and new civilizations. To go boldly where no man has gone before.

Follow these links to find out more about Pandorabots, or you can see a list of the most popular bots. By the way, one of the bots is named God. Don’t ask him about false idols, he gets really angry.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Fun, just plain old fun. This web app should work in any modern browser with Adobe Flash installed.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5

Do you have any questions about A.I. or chatbots? Do you have any ideas you’d like to share? Be sure to add a comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you.