It seems that Artificial Intelligence still has some way to go.
Last year a computer was given YouTube to look at and it learned how to identify a cat, now it has been revealed that IBM’s Watson computer which famously won a game of Jeopardy on American TV was given access to Urban Dictionary as part of its education in the English language – to enable it to understand the nuances of the language and slang terms. Unfortunately, due to the level of fruity language in Urban Dictionary and its inability to distinguish normal from profane language it simply learned how to swear, at one point using the word “bullshit” in answer to a researcher’s question.
As commenter Bleary said on Gizmodo UK it would have changed the film 2001: A Space Odyssey somewhat – “My mind…it’s going….I can fucking feel it.” “Open the pod bay doors HAL,” “Fuck you Dave”
Hmm, if the computers can’t decide what’s appropriate in polite society what else could they be capable of?…
Just as an aside – as I was choosing the image at the top, of IBM’s Blue Gene supercomputer I realised that David Bowie’s Blue Jean was on the radio. Spooky.