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Software Recognizes Sarcastic Tweets

StoneLion posted more than 4 years ago | from the sure-it-can dept.

Software 168

An anonymous reader writes "Even humans sometimes fail to recognize sarcasm and irony; can machines do better? An algorithm that identifies sarcastic tweets (PDF) on Twitter and sarcastic sentences in product reviews on Amazon will be presented next week in the International Conference for Weblogs and Social Media in Washington, DC, and in the Computational Natural Language Learning in Sweden in July. A team from the Hebrew University, Israel, has developed an algorithm that identifies sarcastic sentences by using a machine learning technique in which a small number of sarcastic sentences act as seeds for the software to learn and generalize upon. The algorithm can then identify sarcastic sentences that are nothing like the examples. The variety of recognized sarcastic sentences is impressive, though the results are not perfect. But again, we don't do it so well ourselves, do we?"

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Software Recognizes Sarcastic Tweets? (5, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239974)

Yeah, sure it does.

Re:Software Recognizes Sarcastic Tweets? (4, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240268)

I'm not so sure I'd jump to the conclusion that this is useful.

Determining the amount of sarcasm in bird calls doesn't seem to be an effective way to use research money IMO.

Re:Software Recognizes Sarcastic Tweets? (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240402)

I wonder if the software would be able to recognize a speech impediment [youtube.com] ?

Re:Software Recognizes Sarcastic Tweets? (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32242060)

O'rly?

Re:Software Recognizes Sarcastic Tweets? (1)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32242128)

It has more chances if guesses "sarcastic" all the time, as 'false positive' is less likely than 'false negative'. After all, 70% of all praise is sarcastic [youtube.com]

Re:Software Recognizes Sarcastic Tweets? (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 4 years ago | (#32242246)

"I detect sarcasm."

"You have a to be a paladin to detect Thaco's sarcasm?"

"You have to be a noun to detect Thaco's sarcasm."
  ~ Goblins [keenspot.com] the webcomic

You Know DRM is a Pervasive Problem When ... (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32239984)

From the research paper:

Weight of various patterns and features. We present here a deeper look on some examples. A classic example of a sarcastic comment is: "Silly me, the Kindle and the Sony eBook can’t read these protected formats. Great!". Some of the patterns it contains are ...

You know DRM is pervasive as a very serious consumer problem when statistical research papers recognize user dissatisfaction with it as a classic example of sarcasm that floods reviews.

Re:You Know DRM is a Pervasive Problem When ... (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240112)

if (/flash/ or /DRM/ or /yro.slashdot.org/ or /Kindle/ or /Sony eBook/ or /iPad/) {
        sarcasmDetected;
}

There, wrote some code for you.

Re:You Know DRM is a Pervasive Problem When ... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240828)

Obviously, consumers just need to be "educated" about the benefits of next-generation premium-content ecosystems...

I love (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32240032)

I love links to PDFs.

I love when they don't put the stats in the story (1)

sortadan (786274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240406)

They got about 80% accuracy. Looks like things in CAPS and other... types! of punctuation ;-) and metadata (star rating given for review) are used fairly heavily in addition to sentence structure. Would have be good to know what the breakdown of false positive vs. missed sarcasm is, but i didn't see it.

From TFA:
"We experimented with a large data set of 66000 reviews for various books and products. Evaluating pattern acquisition efciency, we achieved 81% in a 5-fold cross validation on the annotated seed, proving the consistency of the pattern acquisition phase. [...] each sentence was annotated by three human readers. We found some strong features that recognize sarcastic utterances, however, a combination of more subtle features served best in recognizing the various facets of sarcasm."

Re:I love when they don't put the stats in the sto (1)

sortadan (786274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240778)

Found the other stats after taking a second look at the PDF. was 11% false positive, 12% false negative.

Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (0, Redundant)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240040)

Oh, that's really useful!

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32240142)

Actually it is very useful as they don't have sarcasm where I'm from and I miss it unless I'm concentrating.

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240938)

Was that sarcastic?

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241160)

Why don't we ask the program?

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32241342)

Computer says no.

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32242018)

Was the computer was being sarcastic?

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32242310)

No, it was Ford Prefect.

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240324)

Wow. That was a great comment schon.

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241168)

Original.

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240468)

I did not come here to post just that.

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (4, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240660)

When quoting the Simpsons, do it correctly.

Comic Book Guy: Oh, a sarcasm detector, that's a real useful invention.

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241056)

Are you sneering and munching on a chicken drumstick as crumbs of grease tumble down your t-shirt and lodge on top of your shelf-like belly?

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32241074)

followed by

Sarcasm detector: beep beeeeep ::explodes::

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241268)

Guy 1: Oh Homer Simpson he's cool.
Guy 2: Are you being sarcastic?
Guy 1: I don't even know anymore.

Re:Ohh.. a sarcasm detector! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32241402)

You need an irony detector, badly.

This is great! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32240048)

This may help people with autism and Asperger's Syndrome recognize satire.

Re:This is great! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32240160)

You don't have to be sarcastic, they might really find this useful.

Re:This is great! (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240232)

Not necessarily. Machine learning algorithms are generally either neural networks or weighted Bayesian statistics. In other words, the magic comes from abstract numbers that have no human-readable equivalent.

I always found that the easiest way to learn rules for social behavior is to read manuals - i.e. things like Emily Post's Book of Etiquette, How to read a person like a book, etc. Yes, they're not perfect, but if I just treat human behavior like some buggy software package and the books as manuals, it works quite nicely. The manuals work frequently, the rest of the behavior is just bugs that need to be tabulated in a bug db. :)

Re:This is great! (4, Interesting)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240412)

As someone with Aspergers I have found that watching sitcoms is very helpful. Since nearly every character is being sarcastic most of the time, I learn through observing caricatures of reality.

Re:This is great! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240538)

Here's one -

How are mods supposed to moderate anything in this thread? The usual -1 Troll comments become Insightful!!

Re:This is great! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32241234)

How are mods supposed to moderate anything in this thread?

Like the fair, independent, open-minded, thoughtful people that you know they are.

The darker sided to this kind of technology... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32241646)

@"Like the fair, independent, open-minded, thoughtful people that you know they are."

You think thats bad. With this automated way to effectively profile comments, sites will be able to bias, push down out of sight or even totally suppress comments they don't want on their products.

Then there's the evolution of this technology, which is to profile sarcastic political comments on known political topics to workout people's political affiliations, so the people in power can hold back opponents and help supporters of their party. (Thats the way police states have grown powerful for a long time, but this kind of automated profiling is another step to a level of profiling beyond anything the world has ever suffered before).

Evolution of this research could even form the basis of a system of Thought Crime detection.

(By the way, the sampling period is the key to Big Brother monitoring. (This is why George Orwell's 1984 book showed the power of monitoring someone over their entire lifetime. It showed that once someone was minored for long enough, they could be exploited, controlled and manipulated by someone using their fears and desires against them). So you can obfuscate a few communications and in the process maybe make it confusing for (human) readers over days, weeks even months, but you cannot keep up totally random comments for years and even decades. So over longer sampling periods clearer signals will emerge from your apparent short term chaos. (It simply becomes a clearer profile signal over a larger sampling period)).

Re:This is great! (0, Flamebait)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240362)

Great, maybe they'll quit modding me down on Slashdot because they don't recognize the satire. (Hint: look at my sig, aspies.)

Re:This is great! (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240742)

Obviously the mods didn't take you very seriously, did they? BTW, calling someone an 'asspie' is no way to make friends, not even on /.

Re:This is great! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32241032)

He said "aspie", not "asspie". The former is a fairly common name given by, er... aspies to themselves.

(Besides which, it's "ass burgers", not ass pies).

Re:This is great! (0, Offtopic)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241498)

Who says I'm trying to make friends?

Re:This is great! (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241334)

Great, maybe they'll quit modding me down on Slashdot because they don't recognize the satire. (Hint: look at my sig, aspies.)

--
There's no -1 for "I don't get it."

Satire, if found, is moderated appropriately.

Re:This is great! (2, Funny)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240426)

I'd have though that even autistics would be able to recognize horns, goat legs, and a pan pipe? Oh, satire.

Re:This is great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32240530)

As a matter of fact, lot of Asperger's have a strong developed sense of humor, especially in the cynical/sarcastic and understatement segments. Humor takes intelligence to understand, and that's something they are well blessed with.

You might want to change your viewpoints a bit, and not overgeneralize 'trouble to catch certain emotions or social hints' into 'unable to understand humor' or 'unable to see emotions or hints' as that's very untrue. 'Different' does not mean 'disabled'.

Re:This is great! (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240772)

'Different' does not mean 'disabled'.

No, but "disabled" means "disabled".

Asperger's is a mental disability.
ADD is a mental disability.
Whatever your special child has is a mental disability.

You can't sugar-coat it and coddle people forever. They're disabled. A scant few of them may be very good at other things, but they're still disabled.

Just as herpes warts on your junk is a sexually-transmitted disease, not just a sexually-transmitted infection, Asperger's is a mental disability, not just a mental "difability".

Re:This is great! (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240914)

You can't sugar-coat it and coddle people forever. They're disabled. A scant few of them may be very good at other things, but they're still disabled.

The problem with the 'wisdom' of your position is that it hinges entirely upon that which is normal, which is entirely perception-based, and varies from person to person. My son expresses multiple savant-like behaviors in addition to his disability. His ability to do puzzles, for example, would make a 'normal' kid look disabled by comparison. Except Scott isn't normal and we know it, so we label what he can do as 'amazing'.

In short, 'comprehension' 'sugar coating'. Don't be so dismissive. Things are a lot more complex than your world view allows.

Re:This is great! (2, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241156)

Just about everyone is less-than-average in some aspect. Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, which means it’s a broad range going from just about normal all the way to really mentally impaired.

It’s not like blindness; it’s more like near-sightedness. Some people get it worse than others, and some people are just about impaired enough to be considered legally blind. However, everyone fits in somewhere on the autism spectrum... including people who are considered normal.

You can’t have just a touch of herpes, but you can of Asperger’s. Whether or not it makes you “disabled” is debatable.

Re:This is great! (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240650)

As someone with Asperger's Syndrome(yes, actual extensive-testing-and-medical-consensus-of-qualified-shrinks, not "well, I like computers and girls make me nervous"), I suspect that it won't be of much use for that purpose.

Many, though not all, Asperger's types actually have average to excellent parsing of written communications, or the strictly verbal component of other people's utterances(ie. the part that would get written down, if a transcriptionist were in the room). Odds are, most such people could easily outperform this algorithm(since, obviously, the purpose of the algorithm is to provide large volumes of adequate analysis for cheap, not to be human level).

The part of communication that is really difficult, though, is the nonverbal component, the stuff that doesn't show up in text. Tone of voice, expression, tiny muscular movements and reconfigurations around the eyes, that sort of thing. Since typical social standards of politeness and interaction actually discourage direct statement of things(ie. "Your story bores me." "Yes, I am interested." "No, go away") in favor of relying on subtle nonverbal communication of those message, this can be a real handicap. You care about what others around you are thinking, since you naturally want to be on good terms with them(or, even if you don't, you want to be on bad terms deliberately, not accidentally); but you just can't tell, unless somebody explicitly says something, which is rare, unless you've already really fucked up.

In fact, in my experience,(and yes, "my experience" = "N of 1" = "anecdote") I tend to find text-based communication comfortable for exactly these reasons. For normal people, strict text-based communication is harder, because they are denied the nonverbal cues that they normally take for granted. For me, I don't see the nonverbal cues that never mean much anyway, and we are both forced to rely on strict verbal expression, which is my best-practiced level.

Re:This is great! (0)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241188)

As someone with Asperger's Syndrome(yes, actual extensive-testing-and-medical-consensus-of-qualified-shrinks, not "well, I like computers and girls make me nervous"), I suspect that it won't be of much use for that purpose.

Many, though not all, Asperger's types actually have average to excellent parsing of written communications, or the strictly verbal component of other people's utterances(ie. the part that would get written down, if a transcriptionist were in the room). Odds are, most such people could easily outperform this algorithm(since, obviously, the purpose of the algorithm is to provide large volumes of adequate analysis for cheap, not to be human level).

The part of communication that is really difficult, though, is the nonverbal component, the stuff that doesn't show up in text. Tone of voice, expression, tiny muscular movements and reconfigurations around the eyes, that sort of thing. Since typical social standards of politeness and interaction actually discourage direct statement of things(ie. "Your story bores me." "Yes, I am interested." "No, go away") in favor of relying on subtle nonverbal communication of those message, this can be a real handicap. You care about what others around you are thinking, since you naturally want to be on good terms with them(or, even if you don't, you want to be on bad terms deliberately, not accidentally); but you just can't tell, unless somebody explicitly says something, which is rare, unless you've already really fucked up.

In fact, in my experience,(and yes, "my experience" = "N of 1" = "anecdote") I tend to find text-based communication comfortable for exactly these reasons. For normal people, strict text-based communication is harder, because they are denied the nonverbal cues that they normally take for granted. For me, I don't see the nonverbal cues that never mean much anyway, and we are both forced to rely on strict verbal expression, which is my best-practiced level.

As someone else with Asperger's, I confirm all of the above. And the "girls make me nervous"-stuff is nothing to sneeze at! Except, now that I'm married and have a baby (3 months), I just don't have the energy to be nervous around girls anymore. Work + caring for the child + occasional sex ==> tired as all hell.

Re:This is great! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32241586)

Dude. He was being sarcastic.

Sarcastic post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32240060)

homo ergaster,
I am your master !

sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32240080)

though the results are not perfect. But again, we don't do it so well ourselves, don't we?"

What great grammar skills you have.

Oblig. Simpsons (5, Funny)

billius (1188143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240092)

A sarcasm detector, that's a real useful invention!

Replace Humans (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240260)

A sarcasm detector, that's a real useful invention!

It's only a matter of time before we can automatically generate sarcasm. Then websites can have snide comments auto-generated. When that happens, I'd like to see penalties for those attempting clever snark but failing to be smarter than a computer.

Newt Gingrich 2012 ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32240428)

You won't hear about this in the media, but I still wish briefly to take a position on the question as to what extent Newt Gingrich's dodgy smears induce paralysis of the cerebrum. Read on, gentle reader, and hear what I have to say. When a friend wants to drive inebriated, you try to stop him. Well, Gingrich is drunk with power, which is why we must open students' eyes, minds, hearts, and souls to the world around them.

Gingrich has a glib proficiency with words and very sensitive nostrils. He can smell money in your pocket from a block away. Once that delicious aroma reaches Gingrich's nostrils, he'll start talking about the joy of irreligionism and how people are pawns to be used and manipulated. As you listen to Gingrich's sing-song, chances are you won't even notice his hand as it goes into your pocket. Only later, after you realize you've been robbed, will you truly understand that this is partly connected with what I wrote earlier concerning soporific dirtbags. Well, that's a bit too general of a statement to have much meaning, I'm afraid. So let me instead explain my point as follows: He likes to posture as a guardian of virtue and manners. However, when it comes right down to it, what Gingrich is pushing is both grungy and antihumanist.

I receive a great deal of correspondence from people all over the world. One of the things that impresses me about all of it is the massive number of people who realize that Gingrich has written volumes about how his strictures provide a liberating insight into life, the universe, and everything. Don't believe a word of it, though. The truth is that I do not propose a supernatural solution to the problems we're having with him. Instead, I propose a practical, realistic, down-to-earth approach that requires only that I focus on concrete facts, on hard news, on analyzing and interpreting what's happening in the world. I've never bothered Gingrich. Yet Gingrich wants to foster and intensify his drug-drenched drama of immorality. Whatever happened to "live and let live"?

I've long thought it would be fun to try to explain to Gingrich how he is just making a mug of himself when he says that officious Luddites have dramatically lower incidences of cancer, heart attacks, heart disease, and many other illnesses than the rest of us. For the most part, I'm just curious as to how deep Gingrich will have to dig into his profanity thesaurus to formulate a response. He seizes every opportunity to lead people towards iniquity and sin. I cannot believe this colossal clownishness. Any sane person knows that there is a problem here. A very large, amateurish, disreputable problem.

What I think—and I'm no specialist—is that I am deliberately using colorful language in this letter. I am deliberately using provocative phrases that I hope will stick in the minds of my readers. I do ensure, however, that my words are always appropriate and accurate and clearly explain how this is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, where the state would be eager to dismantle the guard rails that protect society from the superficial elements in its midst. Not yet, at least. But it doesn't do us much good to become angry and wave our arms and shout about the evils of Gingrich's suggestions in general terms. If we want other people to agree with us and join forces with us, then we must debunk the nonsense spouted by Gingrich's secret police. I won't lie to you; I, not being one of the many barbaric election-year also-rans of this world, don't care what others say about Gingrich. He's still infernal, paltry, and he intends to quote me out of context.

It's not easy for me to say this, but I wouldn't put it past Gingrich to reinforce the concept of collective guilt that is the root of all prejudice. There, I said it. Now I can continue with my previous point, which is that I recently heard a famous celebrity—I forgot which one—say, "Gingrich's 'leave behind a legacy of perpetual indebtedness in developing countries' mentality is so pervasive that I feel like I'm going to sell my soul to the devil." That's such a great quote, I wish I had been the one who thought of it. Sadly, the cleverest thing I ever said was that Gingrich's hotheaded game of chess—the counterproductive chess of allotheism—has continued for far too long. It's time to checkmate this disdainful, ophidian hypochondriac and show him that a civilization that lets him do the devil's work is a civilization that purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan. Please re-read and memorize that sentence if you still believe that masochism provides an easy escape from a life of frustration, unhappiness, desperation, depression, and loneliness.

Gingrich's warnings are based on two fundamental errors. They assume that Gingrich acts in the public interest and they promote the mistaken idea that you and I are objects for him to use then casually throw away and forget like old newsprint that's performed its duty catching bird droppings. Given his propensity for repression in the service of paradigmatic integrity, it is little wonder that he hates you—yes, you, because you, like me, want to celebrate knowledge and truth for the sake of knowledge and truth. Nevertheless, when one examines the ramifications of letting Gingrich endorse a complete system of leadership by mobocracy, one finds a preponderance of evidence leading to the conclusion that he attributes the most distorted, bizarre, and ludicrous "meanings" to ordinary personality characteristics. For example, if you're shy, Gingrich calls you "fearful and withdrawn". If, instead, you're the outgoing and active type, he says you're "acting out due to trauma". Why does Gingrich say such things? You know the answer, don't you? You probably also know that it's execrable for Gingrich to foment, precipitate, and finance large-scale wars to emasculate and bankrupt nations and thereby force them into a one-world government. Or perhaps I should say, it's crude.

Gingrich is not only morally questionable, but he also lacks the self-control necessary to conform his behavior to reasonable norms. The question that's on everyone's mind these days is, "Why can't we all just get along?" The answer will not satisfy those who seek simple solutions to complex problems but it boils down essentially to this: It is not my goal to sully a profession that's already held in low esteem, but the opposite. Furthermore, Gingrich's yes-men want so much to eviscerate freedom of speech and sexual privacy rights that the concept of right vs. wrong never comes up. Am I being too harsh for writing that? Maybe I am, but that's really the only way you can push a point through to Gingrich. I imagine that if he makes fun of me or insults me I hear it, and it hurts. But I take solace in the fact that I am still able to stand up and fight for our heritage, traditions, and values.

What's the difference between Gingrich's drones and viperine protestors? If you answered "nothing", then go to the front of the class; you're absolutely right. For what it's worth, Gingrich's cold, analytical approach to propagandism doesn't take into account the human element. In particular, those who have been hurt by propagandism know that Gingrich has been trying to convince us that everyone who doesn't share his beliefs is an impulsive busybody deserving of death and damnation. This pathetic attempt to let down ladders that the avaricious, humorless, and nerdy scramble to climb deserves no comment other than to say that if Gingrich opened his eyes, he'd realize that his sense of humor runs the gamut from rude and crude to myopic and mendacious. Gingrich doesn't give a tinker's damn about any of us. To fully understand that, you need to realize that he follows a dual code of morality—one morality for his fellow nutty blowhards and another for the rest of the world. This is why Gingrich is extraordinarily brazen. We've all known that for a long time. However, his willingness to subvert our country's legal system sets a new record for brazenness.

Gingrich's winged monkeys back away from any negative press about Gingrich's theories as if it were a rattlesnake encountered unexpectedly on a nature trail. Which brings us to the harsh reality that must be faced: Many people respond to Gingrich's incontinent ultimata in much the same way that they respond to television dramas. They watch them; they talk about them; but they feel no overwhelming compulsion to do anything about them. That's why I insist we brush away the cobwebs of charlatanism. Okay, this letter has become much too long so I'll just jump right to the punchline: Newt Gingrich's innate love of nativism occasionally shows through his mask of anti-nativism.

Yours In Smolensk,
K. Trout

Re:Oblig. Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32240924)

Doh!

Re:Oblig. Simpsons (1)

g2devi (898503) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241654)

Agreed. IMO, it's almost as useful as the world changing invention of Ballerina Tutu Dresses for chihuahuas [sassypup.net] and an order of magnitude more useful as the internet itself.

The idiot's assistant! (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240094)

I guess it's for those who just don't get it!

Tweet from the developer (3, Funny)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240110)

"Yeah, we totally developed a program to detect sarcastic tweets... #fuckinggenius"

I don't see this as a problem (2, Funny)

Merc248 (1026032) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240124)

Just end your sarcasm tags before being sarcastic. This won't conform to W3C standards, however.

Re:I don't see this as a problem (4, Funny)

aicrules (819392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240222)

I opened my sarcasm tag about 28 years ago and don't plan on closing it any time soon. That has forced me to come up with a new language nuance that I like to call "more sarcastic than usual". But really that just means I add an extra, overemphasized "really" ahead of the point of super sarcasm.

Re:I don't see this as a problem (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240710)

Yeah, like that shit ever works.

People detecting when I'm being more sarcastic than usual? Yeah, and a monkey might fly out of my butt.

Re:I don't see this as a problem (1)

flanaganid (900938) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240954)

I opened my sarcasm tag about 28 years ago and don't plan on closing it any time soon. That has forced me to come up with a new language nuance that I like to call "more sarcastic than usual". But really that just means I add an extra, overemphasized "really" ahead of the point of super sarcasm.

Really?!

Re:I don't see this as a problem (1)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241628)

Sorry, the *best* sarcasm is not obvious, that's really lame. The best is serious and dead-pan, notifying people your being sarcastic is just far too easy for them. It might explain why some Americans can't tell the British are being sarcastic, because we don't make it obvious all the time.

Will have very good recognition rate... (2, Funny)

gweihir (88907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240134)

Given that sometimes not even humans understand when I am being sarcastic, I expect this software will have an exceptionally high recognition rate with very low false positives. A truly remarkable achievement and the one algorithm the human race has been waiting for!

Overt vs. Subtle Sarcasm? (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240158)

The algorithm can then identify sarcastic sentences that are nothing like the examples.

Good luck with that.

hmm (1, Informative)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240198)

wow

Wonder what this will score as? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240202)

I forsee nothing but success for this algorithm.

Finally a way to verify Smith's Law (2, Interesting)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240258)

"Any sufficiently optimistic statement is indistinguishable from sarcasm."

Sarcastic Ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32240358)

What about someone whose intent is genuine, but who can only speak with a sarcastic tone of voice?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyujQctZ9hw

Re:Sarcastic Ray (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240862)

What about someone whose intent is genuine, but whose ideas are considered absurd by the masses?

Wow, that sounds almost as bad as Global Warming!

(The above statement is dripping with sarcasm. Because Global Warming is bullshit, you see.)

Oh, sure! (3, Funny)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240370)

Yeah, like that would work!

Testing (2, Funny)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240374)

The algorithm can then identify sarcastic sentences that are nothing like the examples.

Place it in my office. If it still responds at the end of the week, it's not working correctly. If it's overloaded and partially melted, we've got a winner.

Recognizing sarcastic tweets (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240446)

Recognizing sarcastic tweets... do twits even know what sarcasm is?

Re:Recognizing sarcastic tweets (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240770)

do twits even know what sarcasm is?

I dunno, lemme ask your mom.

Oops, sorry, I meant, let me roll off your mom, then I'll ask her. (Give me about 3 minutes to stop rolling)

C'mon, there's NEVER a wrong time for a "your mom" joke.

For a real test (2, Funny)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240462)

I wonder what would happen if you applied their algorithm to any given slashdot post, particularly one on the Apple board.

Sarcasm vs extremism (0)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240508)

What is the name of that phenomenon where it becomes impossible to distinguish actual right-wing views from sarcastic parodies?

We should just do away with paper money and only use gold.

The United States is a Christian nation, so we should teach in public schools that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

Our president is likely an Islamic terrorist sleeper agent planted here decades ago in order to become president and enact terror-friendly laws.

Re:Sarcasm vs extremism (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240728)

I believe those trolls are called Poes, but I only hear that term used for Christian fundies, not those with other right wing views (e.g. return to a gold standard, something you'd probably only hear from a Ron Paul rally; there wouldn't be much "Christian nation" there).

Poe's Law (1)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240982)

Thank you! It's Poe's Law [urbandictionary.com] .

THAT is not sarcasm or extremism... (0, Flamebait)

denzacar (181829) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240958)

That condition that they have is actually called mental retardation.

It really is useful... (1)

mcguirez (524534) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240586)

This really *is* useful. (Something for the detector: I read TFA but it's just because I can't resist the elegant typesetting of PDFs.)

In reality though, automated systems that process a large amount of social comments (think Amazon reviews etc.) can be fooled by sarcastic comments. Such a system could result in poor recommendations.

This is not intended to be useful to humor impaired individuals.

Re:It really is useful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32240814)

The thing is

That is useful. Then that is useful. Is impossible to distinguish between. You can only do it here because I marked it that way. When talking to someone we 'mark' it by pitching our voice a bit. The extra metadata just does not exist. It will produce way to many false positives. Might be useful for 'defiantly not sarcastic'.

It had to be said... (0, Redundant)

ghislain_leblanc (450723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240642)

A sarcasm detector, that's a real useful invention. (Sarcasm detector explodes)

If they want accurate sarcasm detection... (1)

KnownIssues (1612961) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240752)

They should just train it on Slashdot comments.

Proposal (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240758)

Many Slashdot users can benefit from such a technology. There are medical conditions whose sufferers cannot detect sarcasm. This leads to social ostracism and can cause reduced productivity and in very extreme cases, depression. People may scoff, but imagine if we could provide this technology on a portable device for those victims of the spectrum of diseases that cause anxieties? There are times when I have been the goat because I misunderstood "Yes, I'll have the work completed by Monday" to mean that the coming Monday, the work would be completed. My sarcasm detector did not fire to alert me that the cable installer was being sarcastic. I would like to see this sarcasm detector available for handheld devices. When a girl responded, "Yeah, I'll go out with you," I could then check my iPhone or Droid and know immediately she was making an attempt at humor.

Re:Proposal (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241408)

There are times when I have been the goat because I misunderstood "Yes, I'll have the work completed by Monday" to mean that the coming Monday, the work would be completed. My sarcasm detector did not fire to alert me that the cable installer was being sarcastic. I would like to see this sarcasm detector available for handheld devices. When a girl responded, "Yeah, I'll go out with you," I could then check my iPhone or Droid and know immediately she was making an attempt at humor.

FYI: Sarcasm, Lies, and Little White Lies are not the same things. The cable guy lied. The pretty girl gave a white (gray?) lie.

Re:Proposal (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241694)

The cable guy lied.

Depending on the tone and context it might have easily been sarcastic. If you just asked him “Can you have it done by Monday?” and he’d just checked his schedule that’s booked clear up ’till a week from Monday, for example...

Re:Proposal (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 4 years ago | (#32242050)

FYI: Sarcasm, Lies, and Little White Lies are not the same things.

Oh, really? Thank you for sharing that.

Testing 1...2...3.... testing (1)

busman (136696) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240812)

Ye right!

Sarcasm, older than we thought (2, Funny)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32240928)

It dates back into some of the great classic works of our time... upon reading Romeo and Juliet one critic was overheard saying:

"Nice play Shakespeare..."

or upon solving a great mystery, Watson was once overheard saying, "No shit Sherlock."

Oblig Python (2, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241004)

Vercotti: Well, I had been running a successful escort agency - high class, no really, high class girls - we didn't have any of that. That was right out. And I decided. (phone rings on desk) Excuse me (he answers it) Hello......no, not now......shtoom...shtoom....right......yes, we'll have the watch ready for you at midnight.......the watch.....the Chinese watch....yes, right-oh, bye-bye mother (he replaces reciever) Anyway I decided then to open a high-class night club for the gentry at Biggleswade with International cuisine, cooking, top-line acts, and not a cheap clip joint for picking up tarts, that was right out, I deny that completely, and one night Dinsdale walked in with a couple of big lads, one of whom was carrying a tactical nuclear missile. They said I'd bought one of their fruit machines and would I pay for it.

Interviewer: How much did they want?

Vercotti: Three quarters of a million pounds. Then they went out.

Interviewer: Why didn't you call the police?

Vercotti: Well I had noticed that the lad with the thermo-nuclear device was the Chief Constable for the area. Anyway a week later they came back, said that the cheque had bounced and that I had to see Doug.

Interviewer: Doug?

Vercotti: Doug (takes a drink) I was terrified of him. Everyone was terrified of Doug. I've seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug. Even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug.

Interviewer: What did he do?

Vercotti: He used sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and satire.
....

Tech behind this (3, Funny)

adeft (1805910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241018)

I bet it just looks for itallic text.

No... (1)

nexttech (1289308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241282)

No one would post a sarcastic remark

Would this help Paul Chambers? (1)

U96 (538500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241338)

Would this help Paul Chambers, the man who was found guilty of sending a menacing messages for his sarcastic Twitter bomb threat? http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=265300406002 [facebook.com]

Great, now my computer can tell when I'm sarcastic (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241388)

... why can't you?

How to avoid being detected.. (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241454)

Use the word 'fuck' in your tweet/post. This way the profanity filter will block your message/post before it ever gets to the irony filter..

This reminds me of... (1)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241470)

this scene [youtube.com]

Makes sense for this to be possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32241528)

With verbal communication, you can indicate sarcasm by tone of voice.

With written communication, you have the conundrum that nobody would understand that you are sarcastic when you write an opinion unless you drop written clues. And there's only so many clues that convention can take for sarcasm. e.g.

'The press release made me simply explode with excitement'. -uneven pattern of peaks and valleys
'This is excellent!!11!1oneone' -the same
'John has said he regrets what he did. Of course.' -double emphasis creates the question of the opposite

Put the set of clues into a machine and you've got your sarcasm detector.

Sarcasm? On *Twitter*?! (1)

ewg (158266) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241554)

Sarcasm? On *Twitter*?! Never!!!

77% accuracy? (2, Funny)

pseudorand (603231) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241604)

Their algorithm gets 77% accuracy. I think I can do better:

# Estimated accuracy: 92.1%
isSarcastic(tweet) { return true; }

Or does that only work for slashdot comments?

Sarcasm Detection (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241606)

It will work perfectly.

The point of Sarcasm is that the words, the text itself, convey a literal meaning, while the actual intent (which must be deduced by the reader knowing certain things about the writer; sometimes just tone of voice is enough) is the polar opposite. Without anything except one line of text, there is absolutely no way of determining whether something is sarcasm or not. It will never work without more input. Now that you've read this paragraph, re-read the sentence above it.

It makes ironic sense . . . (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241786)

. . . that the people who invented sarcasm (i.e.:"Moshe, were there not enough graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?" Shemos 14:11) would be the ones who find a way to automatically identify it.

In other news (1)

Stealth Dave (189726) | more than 4 years ago | (#32241788)

In other news, there is still no software that can detect tweets without sarcasm.

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