AI and the List of Dirty, Naughty, Obscene, and Otherwise Bad Words #NSFW #LDNOOBW

Bad words ai 72432895

Language is always evolving and so are the expletives that punctuate or inflame our speech. This creates interesting dilemmas for AI systems trying to keep things ‘clean.’ Interesting article from Wired which adds to discussions of AI bias:

The initial List of Dirty, Naughty, Obscene, and Otherwise Bad Words was drawn up in 2012, by employees of stock photo site Shutterstock. Dan McCormick, who led the company’s engineering team, wanted a roll of the obscene or objectionable as a safety feature for the autocomplete feature of the site’s search box. He was happy for users to type whatever they wanted, but didn’t want the site to actively suggest terms people might be surprised to see pop up in an open office. “If someone types in B, you don’t want the first word that comes up to be boobs,” says McCormick, who left Shutterstock in 2015.

He and some coworkers took Carlin’s Seven Words, tapped the darkest corners of their brains, and used Google to learn sometimes bewildering slang for sexual acts. They posted their initial 342 entries to GitHub with a note inviting contributions and the suggestion that it could “spice up your next game of Scrabble :)”

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