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Tech Companies Looking Into Sarcasm Detection

Soulskill posted 1 year,25 days | from the meta-comment-challenge:-complete-sincerity dept.

Technology 167

Nerval's Lobster writes "Now here's the greatest thing ever: French tech firm Spotter has apparently devised an analytics platform capable of identifying sarcastic comments, according to the BBC. Spotter's platform scans social media and other sources to create reputation reports for clients such as the EU Commission and Air France. As with most analytics packages that determine popular sentiment, the software parses semantics, heuristics and linguistics. However, automated data-analytics systems often have a difficult time with some of the more nuanced elements of human speech, such as sarcasm and irony — an issue that Spotter has apparently overcome to some degree, although company executives admit that their solution isn't perfect. (Duh.) Spotter isn't alone: IBM, Salesforce, and other IT vendors are hard at work on analytics software that can more perfectly determine when you're mouthing off, you little punks. In theory, sarcasm detection can help with customer service, and judging how well products are doing on the open market... and we all know it's going to work perfectly, right? Nothing could possibly go wrong with automated platforms built to assess the nuances of human speech."

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Great! (2)

nospam007 (722110) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198787)

I hope they get 75% of it right. My personal guess is that around 25% of humans are unable to detect any sort of sarcasm, perhaps not quite as bad as Sheldon, but quite bad.

Re:Great! (3, Funny)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198889)

My personal guess is that around 25% of humans are unable to detect any sort of sarcasm

And most of them seem to post at Slashdot.

P.S. Irony, satire and facetiousness don't fare too well either.

Re:Great! (3, Informative)

mcrbids (148650) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198935)

But Poe's law [wikipedia.org] predicted a long time ago, that such detection is, in many cases, actually impossible to accomplish.

Re:Great! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198983)

But Poe's law [wikipedia.org] predicted a long time ago, that such detection is, in many cases, actually impossible to accomplish.

Nothing prevents people from selling stock in a venture, particularly if the listening audience isn't already rolling up it's pants cuffs.

Re:Great! (1)

Kjella (173770) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199163)

But this only deals with one specific instance, if you have a poster with a history of tinfoil hat posts say "Sure, I totally believe NSA has only my best interests at heart" then that has a lot higher probability of being irony than a poster that is fully in the "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" corner. Given all the defective sarcasm and irony detectors out there, the bar of out-detecting a human is pretty damn low.

Re:Great! (5, Interesting)

plover (150551) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199695)

The problem comes with professional violators of Poe's Law, such as Stephen Colbert's character, "Steven Colbert of the Colbert Report". He's a parody of every right wing nut job talk show host. His schtick is to take a right-wing agenda item and push it beyond its obvious short term benefits to its logical but socially detrimental conclusion, where he continues to defend it even more vigorously using Republican platform talking points, ad hominem attacks, and every other logical fallacy [wikipedia.org] he can throw at it. He does this consistently without ever breaking character. And he has a flock of brilliant writers who are able to help him pull this off night after night.

As a matter of fact, he is so consistent that he was mistaken for an actual right wing comedian, and was invited to speak at the White House Correspondent's Dinner in 2006 where he lampooned George W. Bush to his face for fifteen straight minutes. Very few of the faithful present laughed at the routine. President Bush turned red almost from the get-go, politely grimaced out a smile, sat through the entire speech, and left the stage immediately after Colbert finished. I have no doubt that heads rolled within five minutes. ( My favorite joke from the event went something like, " 'Those naysayers claim that this administration is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.' That is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring! If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!" )

Re:Great! (3, Informative)

JustOK (667959) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199815)

Oh, come on. Everyone knows it's not an act.

Re:Great! (2)

meerling (1487879) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199351)

I propose that the very attempt to detect it is in fact a form of it.
Especially when the output is, "No, he's being totally serious, really!" :)

Re:Great! (1)

meerling (1487879) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199331)

I was about to post a snarky reply, but come on, it's so deep around here you can't even scuba dive to the bottom. ;)

And yes, I do know the previous poster just added to the depth. :p

Re:Great! (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199585)

Sarcasm in general does not fare well in text media. As practiced in spoken language, there's a very significant component of intonation and body language. Of course it can be done and well in text media, but it's a skill most people don't have, like writing good expository prose.

Re:Great! (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199689)

They are doing humanity a great service. Every penny that went into this research is money well spent.

Re:Great! (1)

gweihir (88907) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199173)

Cool! Finally a tool that lets me find out whether I am making factual statements, sarcastic comments, or indulging in irony! I have a hard time telling what it is so far.

Seriously, this is just another piece of BS sold for a lot of money. It cannot work without working AI, and that is still completely out of reach.

Grants! (0)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,25 days | (#44200045)

This project will achieve the first 66% outright, then fanny about ad in-fanny-itum on government subsidies to ivory towers near you, workin' hard, strivin' to get the other 9% nailed down.
Beside the white collar welfare, of course, this will help keep those academics and the stunnedents whose minds they poison voting correctly.
Sweet, sweet descent into oblivion!

Yeah... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198791)

Like that's going to work.

Re:Yeah... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44198877)

No, no, you misunderstand. It will work just fine.

paging Dr Frink to the blue courtesy phone (1)

Thud457 (234763) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198963)

this is where skynet decides to kill all humans, isn't it?

Re:paging Dr Frink to the blue courtesy phone (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199027)

this is where skynet decides to kill all humans, isn't it?

No, no... that's right after the perfection of the Tom Swifty Detector.

"It still didn't add up", the auditor recounted."

Re:Yeah... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198965)

No, no, you misunderstand. It will work just fine.

Yeah, very promising, like the Proton rocket. Can't miss.

Re:Yeah... (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199333)

No, no, you misunderstand. It will work just fine.

I'm sure it will.

Re:Yeah... (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199053)

Like that's going to work.

Excuse me, I am a sarcasm detector and I have trouble with general semantics processing. Are you implying that this technology is going to commute to the place of employment by means of ambulation?

Re:Yeah... (1)

JustOK (667959) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199829)

Use of the word "Like" means it's a simile. A simile is like a metaphor.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Turminder Xuss (2726733) | 1 year,25 days | (#44200423)

What if the simile is itself a metaphor ?

Re:Yeah... (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199389)

whatever.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Solandri (704621) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199479)

That's too obvious. A better ambiguity test case is:

Good luck.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Zalbik (308903) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199601)

Wow, sarcasm! That's original!

- Dr. Horrible

Re:Yeah... (2)

PPH (736903) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199629)

Like that's going to work.

Of course it will. They are going to use AI.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44199919)

Like that's going to work.

Of course it will. They are going to use AI.

Good luck with that.

Poe's law (1)

sugarbomb (22289) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198793)

Sarcasm is nice, but what about detecting the effect of Poe's law?

Re:Poe's law (2)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198921)

Why would you expect the software to be any better at this than the humans?

Re:Poe's law (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199565)

Why would you expect the software to be any better at this than the humans?

Software tends to do what you tell it to do... think of this as a semantics translator, not a sarcasm detector. Can you translate into and out of 50 different languages? Google Translate and the Systran engine can.

I'd expect the software to be MUCH better at this than the humans, because it isn't going to get distracted by the MEANING of the phrases it is analysing. Humans tend to be really bad at communication analysis.

Re:Poe's law (1)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199663)

Perhaps you should look up Poe's Law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law [wikipedia.org]

Can you translate into and out of 50 different languages? Google Translate and the Systran engine can.

Let me fix that for you: Can Humans translate into and out of 50 different languages?
Why yes, yes we can, and we do a far better job of than Google.

But we can't program a computer to translate a language we don't know. And if we can't distinguish between a parody of extremism, or subtle sarcasm reliably as humans without visual or written clues, how would you propose to tell a machine to do so?

Re:Poe's law (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | 1 year,25 days | (#44200193)

But we can't program a computer to translate a language we don't know.

Of course we can. It's called a Universal Translator. Haven't you ever seen the documentary, "Star Trek"?

HA! (1)

notequinoxe (2668889) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198807)

If they make it work and ever point that at slashdot, the readings are gonna be flying off the charts!

Re:HA! (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198833)

If this thing works, it's going to be a new Turing Test, judging by the number of posts here that simply state: "Whoosh!"

Re:HA! (2)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198859)

If they make it work and ever point that at slashdot, the readings are gonna be flying off the charts!

Slashdot would be a poor test bed for the project. Sarcasm is too easily detected on here to be useful, it's as subtle as being hit by a brick.

Now ... if they pointed it at Faux Nooz, that would be pretty interesting to see how much the presenters don't believe of the garbage they're spewing to keep the market other broadcasters have neglected: the disenfranchised intelligentsia.

Oh, really (1)

AbrasiveCat (999190) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198811)

(My turn)

A sarcasm detector? (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198821)

Gee, that's useful.

Re:A sarcasm detector? (1)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198939)

All your mems are belong to us.

I'm sure they won't have any problem (1)

istartedi (132515) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198827)

They're geniuses.

Re:I'm sure they won't have any problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44198851)

I wish them success in their future endevours

Fool's errand (4, Insightful)

ericloewe (2129490) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198831)

Sarcasm is very frequently indicated by nuances that aren't transmitted through text. If humans have trouble getting sarcasm out of text, why should an algorithm do any better with the same set of data?

Re:Fool's errand (1)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198969)

Perhaps we should have a new computer keyboard that senses biological changes in the typist, to infer things like sarcasm; typing rate, skin conductivity, pulse, body temp, combine with webcam, add facial expressions.

or more EMoTICONS and markup such as [SARCASM]text here[/SARCASM]

Re:Fool's errand (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199271)

The lack of a sarcasm mark is a serious one. Why is sarcasm a second-rate method of expressing oneself through text when compared to declarations, imperative statements, interrogations, shouting or unfinished sentences?

Re:Fool's errand (1)

gman003 (1693318) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199755)

Sarcasm punctuation. Like that's never been done before~

Re:Fool's errand (1)

gweihir (88907) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199187)

Their great technology will make it work! It is so much better than what puny humans can do and not bound by the limitations of text. In fact, I predict the core technology is an advanced quantum-bogon-detector, that will even be able to classify statements before they are made or if they are not made at all!

Re:Fool's errand (1)

Guppy (12314) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199391)

Sarcasm is very frequently indicated by nuances that aren't transmitted through text. If humans have trouble getting sarcasm out of text, why should an algorithm do any better with the same set of data?

:P

Re:Fool's errand (1)

arth1 (260657) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199843)

I think the problem is the other way around. People spot sarcasm where there is none, mistaking irony for sarcasm.

Re:Fool's errand (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199877)

Depends who writes the code. British folk will find sarcasm far more easily than, say, American folk (since that's pretty much their default mode). So if it's a British coder, it might work.

a sarcasm detector that a real useful invention (4, Informative)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198861)

simpsons did it

Re:a sarcasm detector that a real useful invention (1)

acid_andy (534219) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198943)

Oh here comes that cannonball guy. He's cool.
Are you being sarcastic, dude?
(Hangs head) I don't even know anymore.

Re:a sarcasm detector that a real useful invention (0)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198997)

Oh a sarcasm detector, that's a real useful invention

*Boom*

Re:a sarcasm detector that a real useful invention (1)

hguorbray (967940) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199699)

Lisa: Now next week is our "state of the city" address. Has everyone finished their proposals?
Comic Book Guy: Well first of all I've a plan to eliminate obesity in women.
Lyndsey Nagle: Oh please, for a nickel-a-person tax increase we could build a theatre for shadow puppets.
Dr. Hibbert: Balinese or Thai?
Lyndsey Nagle: Why not both, then everybody's happy.
Comic Book Guy: Oh yeah, everyone's real happy then.
Lyndsey Nagle: Do I detect a note of sarcasm?
Professor Frink: (With sarcasm detector) Are you kidding? This baby is off he charts mm-hai.
Comic Book Guy: A sarcasm detector, that's a real useful invention.
(Sarcasm detector explodes)

http://improvidentlackwit.com/lackwit/2005/10/sarcasm_detecto.html

-I'm just sayin'

left to languish (1)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198871)

There's no way they'll just leave it to languish once it's working. Corporations just love bad news and never ignore negative feedback.

Oh, a sarcasm detector. (1)

gijoel (628142) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198875)

That's a really useful invention.

Current algorithms are worse than my mom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44198917)

Current best sarcasm-detection algorithms are barely 62% effective even with text that includes smiley faces or other obvious sarcasm tags.

Do we have to hold up a sarcasm sign? (1)

erroneus (253617) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198977)

Do we have a sarcasm sign?

Sarcasm detector (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,25 days | (#44198985)

What we really need is a lie detector, a spam detector, and a troll detector

Extra points for the spam detector, THAT is what is most sorely needed, and what is so inadequately provided thus far.

Re:Sarcasm detector (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44199179)

The spam detector is called CRM114. It's definition of spam is "anything you've detected as undesirable", and it doesn't publish or list its rules: it generates them from Markovian language processing, and it's amazingly efficient. (It's written in C: for speed and reliablility avoid "object oriented" languages with a passion because none of them are *stable* under high load.) What it lacks is integration with major SMTP services such as MS Exchange or graceful Postfix integration. You have to pull all the content for local processing because it's not been integrated into the SMTP stack.

Check out http://crm114.sourceforge.net/. The same filtering technology can be used for other standards, such as "irony" or "troll" or "confidential data", with the same kind of training.

Re:Sarcasm detector (1, Offtopic)

Anubis IV (1279820) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199759)

I can't believe that I'm reading a comment that is so clearly uninformed like yours on Slashdot.

Every language has its tradeoffs. It's apparent that you've not only disregarded the benefits of OO languages, but that you've also failed to correctly identify their drawbacks. Put two equally competent developers up against each other, one in C and one in C#, and I'd put my money on the C# app being more reliable and stable out of the gate, and quite possibly more efficient as well, since optimization takes time. Anyone with any experience at all in C can tell you about times that they've forgotten to free up memory, failed to place a null terminator at the end of a string, or went out of bounds on an array (even worse: without it telling you that you did so)*, simply because it lacks safeguards to catch those (I still remember one particular bad memory leak I introduced in a text parser I was using to go through the data my grad school research group had pulled during our 6.3B page web crawl...let's just say that my colleagues who were using that server were not too happy with me...). So suggesting that C is so much more reliable and that OO languages should be avoided "with a passion" is really only true in the sort of frictionless, vacuum world that physicists dream of, where developers never write bugs and things work on the first try.

Also, if you're making broad, sweeping generalizations about efficiency and how OO languages shouldn't be used, I'm guessing you're also unfamiliar with JIT compiling and the advancements that have been made on that front. You might want to look into it.

And if you're going to dismiss an entire class of languages on the grounds that they're less stable and efficient, then I feel compelled to point out that you should be using FORTRAN instead of C, since it's what all of the serious number crunching apps use (in fact, it was the first language I used professionally, back when I interned at Lockheed Martin for a summer, working on meteorological software used by NASA). Or, hell, why stop at FORTRAN? You should use machine code! By your standard, it's far more stable, efficient, and reliable than C, so it must be better! Who needs inefficient abstractions like loops when we have jump statements? Not you, right?

* A quick note: I'm not suggesting that all of these bugs are inherently fixed in OO languages, just that they are examples of the sorts of issues one commonly encounters in C that many (though not all) OO languages happen to avoid. Quite obviously, you could change the garbage collector to address that first bug without having to use an OO language, for instance, but many OO languages just so happen to have more advanced garbage collectors that address that problem rather well.

No permanent fix (1)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199257)

It's an arms race. The better the detector, the better the spammer, the better the detector...

But, can you imagine how good sarcasm would get if they started treating it the same way? Words so powerful they could melt your screen!

Re: Sarcasm detector (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44199667)

Google has a pretty fabulous spam detector if you're willing to forgo absolute privacy to an algorithm. But then, spam detection will always require the reading of your emails, and a *connected* spam detector will always do better when pooling information from a multitude of different people. OMG, fascism, etc, blah blah blah...

If it's French it must be sar-cas-tique (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44199003)

Elementary, my dear General, we just scan for the use of the French language!

Small drawback (2)

AdamWill (604569) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199031)

Unfortunately, there's been a setback in the schedule. They tested it on Slashdot and it exploded.

well, I'll buy 10 then (1)

swschrad (312009) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199051)

to make sure I get my snark tuned exactly right.

Yeah, right... (2)

hyades1 (1149581) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199061)

...They can't tell that "Give her joy by split her halfways with yoou massif kawk" is spam, but they're going to identify sarcasm with a big analytics package.

Right.

Easy sarcasm detector ;) (1)

aepervius (535155) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199509)

Detect for "right." alone in a sentence, add bonus point when it separate the main text with a cariage return. "Yeah, right." make the detector explode.

Not sure that's possible... (2)

abroadwin (1273704) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199075)

Often the detection of sarcasm relies on understanding of popular opinion on a topic. I don't think we'll have any magic bullet algorithm to detect sarcasm until we have hard AI with a far-reaching corpus of current knowledge. Take these two sentences: "DRM is the best. It makes everything so much easier!" and "The iPhone is the best! It makes everything so much easier!" Ok, algorithm. Pick the one containing sarcasm...

Re:Not sure that's possible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44199171)

Easy. Both.

Re:Not sure that's possible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44199927)

You jest but are right depending on context.

got yer algorithm right here (1)

bokmann (323771) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199095)

sarcasm = (company.attributes.include?([:big_and_evil]) && comment.classification == "complimentary")

False positives in both sides (2)

gmuslera (3436) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199153)

Is not like you won't end in jail for a sarcastic comment [cnn.com] , or get expelled over a joke [theblaze.com] , it will work in the other way, seeing sarcams where they aren't and getting you anyway. And getting this mess in your private mail, where you usually joke and don't care a lot about potential readings of what you say, because, well, you don't have anything to hide, will make life interesting in the next years.

Re:False positives in both sides (2)

lemur3 (997863) | 1 year,25 days | (#44200127)

When I first saw this story I wondered if they were to apply it in a legal sense, and not for marketing..

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmhaff/80/80we20.htm [parliament.uk]

they have things called "anti social behavior orders" in england to curb.. well, anti social behavior, one such example was this (source above):

The oldest recipient of an order to date is an 87-year-old who among other things is forbidden from being sarcastic to his neighbours (July 2003). He was subsequently found guilty of breaking the terms of his order on three separate occasions.

'Elysium' Trailer (1)

mbone (558574) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199201)

'Elysium' Trailer [youtube.com] , 33 seconds in.

Good luck with that ;) (1)

hurfy (735314) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199209)

" In theory, sarcasm detection can help with customer service, and judging how well products are doing on the open market... "

Or, just perhaps, marketing could read (listen?) for themselves to see how things turned out...

Next up....

Sarcasm in 3D !!!

Finnally all sarcasm terrorists can be found! (1)

gweihir (88907) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199223)

And brought to justice! How dare they making legal and ethical NSA interception and interpretation of all communication harder! That amounts to terrorism! Time to find all these thought-criminals and lock them away for good. All clear speaking and thinking citizens will live in a better world for that.

Context is everything for this job (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199259)

You have to have a clear notion of what's expected to identify irony, and that's a function of the topic, the venue, and the history of the writer.

Fortunately, the utter brilliance the designers have shown by thinking of the idea in the first place will carry them beyond such minor details and bring them complete success.

-1 Woosh (2)

doug141 (863552) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199337)

I've often thought slashdot would benefit from a -1 Woosh mod option.

Punctuation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44199365)

What we really need is a punctuation mark for sarcasm.

Slashdot (1)

Grismar (840501) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199369)

Of course, the illegible drivel that sits atop most /.-pages defies classification even by humans, so some margin for error is reasonable.

Flawless (1)

interval1066 (668936) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199379)

...sarcasm detection...

What could go wrong?

yeah(,) right (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44199447)

Will they be able to compile a parenthesis?!

Easy done (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44199463)

Download SpamAssassin and rename it SarcasmAssassin.

Sorry but sarcasm has nothing to do with speech. (1)

Chas (5144) | 1 year,25 days | (#44199533)

It's a function of intent and inflection.

Trying to divine it from raw text is going to fail. Simply because such systems will be deprived of the necessary information to make such a call properly.

Sure, old chestnuts like "Nothing could POSSIBLY go wrong!" might trip it. But sarcasm extends beyond the basics and into some fairly obscure, arcane and downright subtle usage.

It's going to be like handing a blind person a ball and asking them to divine the color.

Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44199697)

You Suck...No you really do suck.

Re:Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44199721)

You Suck...No you really do suck.

Just kidding.............

call it the "dennis miller" filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44200005)

hey, a.i. -this,- cha-cha.

Great (1)

Horshu (2754893) | 1 year,25 days | (#44200053)

Another stupid smartphone app coming to a screen near you.

And it shall be named ... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | 1 year,25 days | (#44200139)

"French tech firm Spotter has apparently devised an analytics platform capable of identifying sarcastic comments" Hence forth referred to as Sheldon Cooper.

When I was in University... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44200251)

When I was in university, I heard a story about a professor in a university lecture theatre filled with hundreds of students lamenting the fact that there are many logical constructions in English where two negative statement combine to make a positive statement, but none where two positive statements combine to make a negative statement. Some smart alec in the back yelled "Yeah, right".

I told this story to a CS prof. I had. He started trying to reaffirm the assertion, then I mentioned that "Yeah" is positive, and "right" is positive. He thought for a second, squinted and pressed his lips together, then blurted that sarcasm doesn't count.

As for the software developers creating the sarcasm filter:
Good luck with that, ya bunch of winners!

news at 11... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,25 days | (#44200303)

Sarcasm detector pointed at Slashdot, promptly exploded.

You know this has got to make it into... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,25 days | (#44200309)

...a future episode of The Big Bang Theory. I'd say "notify Lorre" but I'm certain he already knows and is computing the comic possibilities.

Investors Should See A High Rate On Return On This (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#44200327)

No, really.

EU Commission (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | 1 year,25 days | (#44200401)

EU Commission could save some money here. The algorithm to detect sarcasm when speaking of EU Commission is simple, as nobody ever tells anything good about the EU Commission : If a sentence has a positive word, then it is sarcasm.
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