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Project Anonymizes Your Writing Style To Hide Your Identity

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the keeping-it-under-covers dept.

Privacy 103

mikejuk writes "An open source project to combat 'stylometry,' the study of attributing authorship to documents based only on the linguistic style they exhibit, is proving that it is possible to change writing style to evade detection. Artificial Intelligence techniques are routinely used to detect plagiarism and recently were employed to reveal that Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling is indeed the author of The Cuckoo's Calling, which was published under the byline of Robert Galbraith. Now software is tackling the opposite problem — anonymizing writing style to protect the identity of the originator. The JStylo-Anonymouth (JSAN) framework is a work in progress at the Privacy, Security and Automation Lab (PSAL) at Drexel University. It analyzes a written text and detects features which could be used to identify the author. It then suggests changes that need to be made to avoid the author's stylistic fingerprint appearing in the work."

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103 comments

I don't know (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44477913)

How will it disguise my terrible opinions that are obviously wrong?

Re:I don't know (4, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about a year ago | (#44477977)

Those blend right in with the rest of the internet.

Re:I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44482559)

Those blend right in with the rest of the internet.

Did you mean: "... with the rest of this internet."

Re:I don't know (-1, Flamebait)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44477985)

Easy, just hang out with Republicans. Not a lot of thinking or analysis goes on with them. And being wrong about a good many things is required to be a member.

Re:I don't know (0)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44478061)

Come on, I said "wrong" not "worse than a hypothetical Hitler-Stalin hybrid"

Re:I don't know (0, Offtopic)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44478149)

Sorry, but Obama is making the (R) GWB look like a saint.

The whole political disdain for all things (R) among the liberal elites here on /. is simply amazing to watch. What is unacceptable in an (R) is perfectly fine with Obama. The whole double standard the political duopoly in the US is schizophrenic, and very telling.

Re:I don't know (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478305)

Sorry, but Obama is making the (R) GWB look like a saint.

The whole political disdain for all things (R) among the liberal elites here on /. is simply amazing to watch. What is unacceptable in an (R) is perfectly fine with Obama. The whole double standard the political duopoly in the US is schizophrenic, and very telling.

Because naturally, antagonizing and warmongering non-US citizens is perfectly acceptable since they are brown and mostly poor, whist court-backed intelligence gathering on US citizens is a grave constitutional violation that we must rise up against...

Re:I don't know (3, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44478397)

Dude, let it go, this thread was started on a post about how everyone's opinions are wrong. Not a good context for debate.

Re:I don't know (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478643)

Wait, which one doubled down on every failed fascist republicn policy?
Gitmo?
Romneycare?
Amnesty?
Hellfires from drones?
Spying on every american all the time?

Re:I don't know (-1, Offtopic)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#44479443)

whist court-backed intelligence gathering on US citizens

It might be backed by a court, but the warrants do not appear to be constitutional (some lack probable cause and fail to specifically describe that which is to be searched).

Re:I don't know (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479261)

Sorry, but Obama is making the (R) GWB look like a saint.

Our country was attacked because Bush hired incompetent cronies to key positions. FBI field agents warned their superiors that 911 was going to happen and were ignored. Bush started the longest war in US history, then started another one. He held people at Guantanimo without trial, used torture on prisoners, started the NSA spying on American citizens. He came into office with the county in a booming economy and a balanced federal budget and left with the country in worse financial shape than any time since the Great Depression and with the highest deficit in US history.

What has Obama done to make those actions look saintly? Sorry, Mike, but you're proof that Republicans are fools.

Re:I don't know (0)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44481295)

Magical mystery: How it was an inside job, coordinated in 9 months? Followed by it was a bunch of people coordinating an attack in 9 months. Freaking Amazing how you believe that 9/11 was GWB's fault. And here I thought GWB was a bumbling fool who was too stupid to be president, and you have him being a freaking GENIUS who caused people to blow up buildings, so he could implement Patriot Act, while ignoring that Obama as done Patriot Act on Steroids. Let me guess, that too was GWB's fault.

And I am not a (R). Nice try though.

Re:I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44481259)

yada yada yada. butthurt whiner.

Re:I don't know (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44478071)

How will it disguise my terrible opinions that are obviously wrong?

It won't, it will just attribute them to Francis Bacon.

Re:I don't know (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44478769)

Great. Benjamin Franklin is going to end up the only person to have a valid opinion.

Re:I don't know (2)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#44479683)

Cardinal Richelieu (supposedly) wrote: "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." Will the JStylo-Anonymouth mean that he'd be able to hang everyone who used it?

Re:I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44480821)

No, because he's dead, and I'm pretty sure that the political office he once held in France has since lost the the authority to hang people for licentious or seditious writing.

Re:I don't know (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about a year ago | (#44478345)

It will post them on slashdot.

Frist Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44477927)

Which person posted this?

Re: Frist Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478657)

Of which character did this post originate?

Fixed

Re:Frist Post! (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44481493)

Which person posted this?

There is simply not enough data in your post to find that out. You would probably have to write a few paragraphs of text in your natural style to give the algorithm any real chance.

The Cuckoo's Calling (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a year ago | (#44477941)

Artificial Intelligence techniques are routinely used to detect plagiarism and recently were employed to reveal that Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling is indeed the author of The Cuckoo's Calling, which was published under the byline of Robert Galbraith.

Uhm, what? It was revealed by someone at Rowlings agency tweeting it to a Sunday Times reporter, after the reporter commented on how good it was for a debut novel - that has all been confirmed by the agency.

Unless the above line is badly phrased and is meant to say "recently were employed to confirm prior reports that..." - it didn't reveal anything of the sort, the link had already been revealed by plain old journalism.

Re:The Cuckoo's Calling (3, Informative)

jabuzz (182671) | about a year ago | (#44478021)

No it was revealed by a partner at the law firm who should have known better, and should now face sanctions from the Law Society. Being struck of the register would be about right.

On the other hand they have already reached an out of court settlement for a substantial sum, which probably came out the partners own pocket. I would also imagine the firm has lost the JKR account.

Re:The Cuckoo's Calling (0)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44479325)

Well I heard it was revealed by the wife of a partner. Slightly better but not by much.

Re:The Cuckoo's Calling (1)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#44479601)

Well I heard it was revealed by the wife of a partner. Slightly better but not by much.

Was the wife legal counsel to J.K. Rowling? No? Well, then, it was revealed by the partner. That he revealed it to his wife first, or perhaps only, is completely irrelevant.

Re:The Cuckoo's Calling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44481079)

Even worse, by the best friend of the wife of a partner [telegraph.co.uk] .

Re:The Cuckoo's Calling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44481559)

This is why you don't tell your wife anything you don't want the whole female neighborhood and beyond to know.

Re:The Cuckoo's Calling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479361)

I think the "out of court settlement" was a hand shake and a thank you. It wasn't doing well until the "revelation".

Hurry it up (1)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#44477971)

A million college students are waiting anxiously for this tool now that some professors have started checking their essays electronically for plagarism.

Re:Hurry it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478221)

But this would make their texts even more similar!
They would need the opposite, a tool that takes a bland, generic text and adds a believable touch of their own personality and incompetence.

Re:Hurry it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478243)

Tools like this basically do: (step 1) build abstract representation of text - (step 2) rebuild it into a new text using random substitutions.

Plagiarism detection tool will just have to do step 1 and then compare it with database of saved essays in same abstract form.

Re:Hurry it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478493)

How would that help if the plagiarism detection tool only has the randomized outcome of step 2?

Re:Hurry it up (2)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | about a year ago | (#44479155)

Tools like this basically do: (step 1) build abstract representation of text - (step 2) rebuild it into a new text using random substitutions.

Plagiarism detection tool will just have to do step 1 and then compare it with database of saved essays in same abstract form.

How would that help if the plagiarism detection tool only has the randomized outcome of step 2?

Simple plagiarism detection tools just use string matching. If a person used popular quotes and phrases in an essay, it is entirely possible for the software to give a high plagiarism percentage. That's why all the good software packages use highlighting with a link what it thinks was plagiarized.

More advanced tools can detect things like a student using a thesaurus for one to one word replacement. I do not know how much they can do in this regard though. String matching still works as long as the matching algorithms is willing to allow one or more words to not match. The problem is, doing this causes the false positive rate to jump even higher.

Going over every possible thesaurus based permutation of every word is a O(n!) hard problem. If all text in the database was normalized, then we're back to a basic string compare. Normalized in this context means changing a word in all works to a common synonym. For instance, change ever occurrence of the word proper with correct in the last paragraph.

It's possible to do more complicated things involving the actual meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or work. Unfortunately, I have no clue to go about doing so. The rules of English grammar are hard. Worse still, both professional writers and amateurs violate them all the time.

Remember kids [xkcd.com] , there's a huge difference between knowing the proper way to do something and still doing it improperly versus not knowing the correct way to begin with.

Re:Hurry it up (1)

Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) | about a year ago | (#44481407)

Tools like this basically do: (step 1) build abstract representation of text - (step 2) rebuild it into a new text using random substitutions.

Those are easily spotted by their near-miss of English. It's called "content spinning" and it is easy to spot.

Re:Hurry it up (2)

epine (68316) | about a year ago | (#44479973)

A million college students are waiting anxiously for this tool now that some professors have started checking their essays electronically for plagarism.

This assumes that they're as stupid as we all suspect, because the next thing the administration begins to do is check whether the student's written oeuvre is self-consistent without bunkering down under a blander identity than a Milli Vanilli cover of Valium Spice.

I'm so busted.

Automated writing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44477975)

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me.
There lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.

She admitted it :P (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478001)

Trust geeks to take the path of needless complexity. I would have thought J K Rowling fessing up, once she was outed by big mouth of the wife of one of the law firm partners she was using, was 'proof' enough of her authorship of The Cuckoo's Calling. Stylistic analysis played no part in the discovery, and is unnecessary afterwards since she flat out admitted it.

Re:She admitted it :P (1)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#44479831)

It was confusingly worded in TFA. What I eventually figured from it is that it was not used as a discovery mechanism. It looks like it was a test they performed after it was revealed, and the test only confirmed that she was the author.

It was not done to uncover any hidden truths, it was done to demonstrate the correctness of the tool.

AI doesn't do shit to detect plagiarism (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about a year ago | (#44478019)

Profit does. When your bottom line depends on keeping schools convinced that you're indispensable in the War On Plagiarism you damn well find plagiarism everywhere you can, whether or not it's actually there. There are approximately 80 MILLION students in the US, with our education system being as repetitive and formulaic as it is it becomes a virtual certainty that out of 80,000,000 students a significant number will say the same thing the same way.

Re:AI doesn't do shit to detect plagiarism (1)

zildgulf (1116981) | about a year ago | (#44478461)

It is even worse in detecting plagiarism in Computer Program since there is a small subset of algorithms that would be the most efficient or easiest to code. If you have 50 students to program a sort you are going to get several of the nearly identical program.

Re:AI doesn't do shit to detect plagiarism (1)

erikscott (1360245) | about a year ago | (#44478647)

Long long ago, in a computer teaching lab 30 miles away, I had 20 assignments turned in to me for grading. Of them, I had seventeen identical, bizarre wrong answers. Seriously, people... if you're going to cheat, at least copy from someone who isn't high/psycho/retarded.

Re:AI doesn't do shit to detect plagiarism (1)

Saeed Tawil (3009205) | about a year ago | (#44478809)

It's pretty easy to tell who plagiarized in a programming course when multiple students are wrong in the same way though.

Re:AI doesn't do shit to detect plagiarism (1)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | about a year ago | (#44479273)

Finding plagiarism when it comes to coding is mainly a matter of style. Students should be encouraged to talk to each other about doing their homework. That doesn't mean that they should copy whole problems verbatim from one another though.

Look at the whole rangecheck(...) debacle. The algorithm wasn't secret by any means. The whole issue came about because the same coder wrote both functions. He has his own programming style that becomes immediately apparent when comparing small snippets of code like the function in question.

Even when there are style guidelines, each person will implement them slightly differently. It might not be as ingrained in newer students but eventually they will choose something like one of these examples for their functions.

Examples:
void foo(...){
}
void foo ( ... ) {
}
void foo (...)
{
}

Let the flame war about which is better begin.

Re:AI doesn't do shit to detect plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479335)

There was a "department" style that was enforced by a couple of the professors that dictated style to include the above.

Re:AI doesn't do shit to detect plagiarism (1)

unrtst (777550) | about a year ago | (#44479669)

Off topic, but the braces format question will get better answers if it's phrased differently, such as:

a)
if (...) {
} else {
}

b)
if (...)
{
}
else
{
}

c)
if (...) {
}
else {
}

Prior to "Perl Best Practices", I preferred to use an inconsistent style of:

if (...)
{
} else {
}

The different handling of elsif and else's compared to if's always bothered me, but I found the lined up braces much more pleasing. I didn't like option "b" because the else's take up WAY too much vertical room. Option "c" is now my personal preference.
YMMV, but including the else's in the question provides a more complete view.

Re:AI doesn't do shit to detect plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479703)

I went to a certain style because we have to learn several non-c languages for course work and I prefer a certain consistence to the indent styles.

Re:AI doesn't do shit to detect plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479661)

Or does it mean that the person teaching them isn't very good?

Re:AI doesn't do shit to detect plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44480061)

It is even worse in detecting plagiarism in Computer Program since there is a small subset of algorithms that would be the most efficient or easiest to code. If you have 50 students to program a sort you are going to get several of the nearly identical program.

You have clearly never taught Computer Science and had to grade assignments at a university. Students in these courses generally don't have a decade of experience and a fine appreciation of the art of succinct and clear coding - if they did, they wouldn't need to be there. I have graded at least hundreds of such hand-ins over several years and not one of those were the minimal beautiful solution I wished they would send me (because then my job would have been SO much easier). Oh no. It's almost always piles of idiosyncratic weirdness along with obfuscation from when they were trying to fix bugs. That makes for very unique hand-ins. When we look for cheating, we don't look for similarity to the minimal code in our minds. We look for duplicates of bizarre things.

easy, and tried tested and true method (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478025)

load your favorite translator site (babelfish?), translate to a random language, translate back to your language. its messy because its often hard to even decipher what you just said, but it obfuscates, or more accurately destroys the linguistic oddisms that make you identifiable. i used to use this technique on an irc client i used via shell. sometimes bread bars do good taste, but sometimes breadsticks are delicious. :)

Re:easy, and tried tested and true method (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479485)

Yo load yo' favorite transmalator site (babelfish?), transmalate ta uh random language, transmalate back ta yo' language. its messy cuz its often hard ta even decipher what you just said, but it obfuscates, or mo' accurately destroys da linguistic oddisms dat make you identifiable. ah used ta use dis here technique on an irc client ah used via shell. sometimes bread bars do pimp-tight taste, but sometimes breadsticks is delicious. :) don't make me shank ya!

http://joel.net/EBONICS/Translator#sthash.oKW0thwD.dpuf [joel.net]

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478033)

Dat's why I always troll when I'm writing as Anonymous Coward. So that they can't connect it to my writitng style.

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44481393)

I try to make informative posts as AC, and troll and flame under my UserID. Trolling isn't fun if you can't keep score.

Literature IS style! (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#44478035)

I am sorry, but as far as literature goes, writing style anonymization (is that a word?) would harm the original intent of the author. A literary work is valuable (when so) due to author's style, among other factors, much like in movies, where a certain actor's voiceover is best for a certain character. The same character would become retarded if the actor's voice changes. Imagine Donkey (from Shrek) played by Morgan Freeman or Darth Vader played by Danny de Vito. Good characters, good actors, no match in style and intent.

Yeah, students would love this in their paper, but literature? Hell, no.

Re:Literature IS style! (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year ago | (#44478077)

I doubt this would be used to protect pen names of literary authors, but it could have important applications for whistleblowers and people who want to denounce things without getting traced down. Basically, any situation where the style is of little to no importance compared to the content.

Stephen King (4, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#44478527)

Stephen King seems to agree with you.

In his book "On Writing [amazon.com] ", he explains (among many other good points) that one hallmark of good writing is finding the right combination of words for imagery.

He uses examples like "I lit a cigarette, tasted like a plumber's handkerchief'" from Raymond Chandler and "'It was darker than a carload of assholes' by George V Higgins.

The Odyssey (IIRC) has the phrase "it was a wine dark sea", so this has been around for a very long time.

For casual writing the project may be useful, but I wonder how much imagery will be lost in translation.

Many of the works of revolutionaries, radicals, and dissenters are memorable for their specific imagery. Simon Sinek analyzed "I have a dream [wikipedia.org] ", and noted the difference between "I have a dream" and "I have a plan". The two are very different, and have different effects on people. (Viz. TED talk "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" [ted.com] )

I'm doubtful that AI has progressed to the point where the mood and emotional content will be preserved in such a translation.

To be effective, defiant writing will still require courage.

Re:Stephen King (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44478793)

This isn't for people who want to be known by their writing.

Re:Stephen King (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#44478799)

Just one mention: I think I agree with Stephen King, not the other way around. After all, I heard of him (as a matter of fact, I just finished reading The Long March and started Misery) but I highly doubt he ever heard of me :)

Thanks. (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#44478949)

An excellent point, I will try to remember this in future writing. It's the sort of thing you don't get in a writing course, for which I am grateful.

Thanks.

Re:Stephen King (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#44479707)

> For casual writing the project may be useful, but I wonder how much imagery will be lost in
> translation.

Except, did they not say it "suggests changes"? Doesn't that still leave the author free to either take the suggestion, or select a different phrasing or imagery choice?

I mean if it comes to "Wine dark sea" and suggests instead "deep red sea", or "sea of dark wine" I would assume the author would understand his original meaning and be able to work from there, and then iterate through it again to see if a different turn of phrase works better.

Re:Stephen King (1)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#44480095)

"To be effective, defiant writing will still require courage."

Surviving to be defiant may require anonymity.

Re:Literature IS style! (1)

Saeed Tawil (3009205) | about a year ago | (#44478847)

Imagine Donkey (from Shrek) played by Morgan Freeman or Darth Vader played by Danny de Vito.

I'd pay to watch either of those.

Re:Literature IS style! (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#44479357)

As a matter of fact, you'd probably pay to watch an excerpt of 2 minutes of either of those.
I once watched "Twins" (Arnold&DeVito) dubbed in Hungarian. it was hilarious... for a few minutes. Then it was annoying, then I couldn't handle it anymore.

Re:Literature IS style! (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44480621)

Imagine Donkey (from Shrek) played by Morgan Freeman or Darth Vader played by Danny de Vito.

Imagine Eddie Murphy playing a Chinese Dragon in Mulan. Oh wait...

Re:Literature IS style! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478867)

hitchens pointed it out. orwell used an odd wording that was so beautiful and descriptive. but the thing about text obfuscation isnt for literary works, as in art. its for news or fact reporting, or private communications about policy, etc. i used to do some political blogging (in the days where blogging wasnt a word) and for the first year or 2 i did not scrub my works to make my works anonymous. i soon picked up on that i probably should, and i used translators 2 ways, and then after going from english to german back to english, or to cantonese and back, you have to do a bit of editing, but if its shitty but understandable, thats the point.

Re:Literature IS style! (1)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | about a year ago | (#44479233)

>>Darth Vader played by Danny de Vito

Which is one reason why Spaceballs was so darned funny. Rik Moranis as Darth Helmet... almost the exact opposite of a James Earl Jones voice and style wise.

Only if you remain anonymous... (1)

jalvarez13 (1321457) | about a year ago | (#44478037)

... in the rest of your digital life.

In light of recent events -and I'm not only referring to the NSA-gate, but also to all the known ways to get your private information- it is hard for me to figure out a digital way of keeping your identity secret in a high profile incident.

Confirm (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44478041)

This is he next step in surveillance, if he government isn't doing it already. Binding together various accounts of yours based on statistics of phrases.

And it's redundant since they have a database of all IP connections, web pages, and stuff you type in anyway. Sigh. I suppose it will make confirmation of these AI. techniques trivial. Yey.

Google translate? (1)

gregor-e (136142) | about a year ago | (#44478057)

Surely one could simply auto-translate their prose into another language and back to avoid stylometric identification?

Re:Google translate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478183)

Certainly one can simply translating their prose mechanism to another language and back to avoid identifying stylometric?

Surely, one can only auto-interpretation of their prose to another language and back to avoid stylometric identification?

Of course, you could just automatically translate your prose into another language and back again, in order to avoid the stylometric identification?

Surely one will simply start their prose-translation to other languages ââand back to avoid stylometric about yourself?

Re:Google translate? (2)

eyenot (102141) | about a year ago | (#44478559)

First of all, this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMkJuDVJdTw [youtube.com] (YouTube)

Second of all:

"Of course you can, just stylometric identification and back home in order to prevent another language is automatically translated prose?" -- (Haitian Creole -> Azerbaijani -> Slovenian -> English ...)

"Not even the same language at home and another stylometric can automatically translated into prose?" -- ( ... Irish -> Hebrew -> Czech -> English ...)

"Not even in the same language and prose automatically translated differently stylometric?" -- ( ... Japanese -> Turkish -> Hmong -> English.)

"However, different stylometric automatically translated prose, and the same language is not it?" -- (... Urdu -> Filipino -> Latin -> English ...)

Depending on who you ask, you seem to have a different "answer" to your question.

Re:Google translate? (1)

eyenot (102141) | about a year ago | (#44478573)

i got the order of translation mixed up but same story. The Urdu-led translation trip was second, then led by the Irish, then the Japanese.

conversion to another's style (2)

greywire (78262) | about a year ago | (#44478065)

So, can any mediocre author convert his story to the style of a known good author using this?

Re:conversion to another's style (2)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#44478255)

So, can any mediocre author convert his story to the style of a known good author using this?

There's hope for Slashdot's editors! Huzzah!

Re:conversion to another's style (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44481507)

The designers are clever coders and engineers, not miracle workers.

Re:conversion to another's style (1)

dlenmn (145080) | about a year ago | (#44478483)

Speaking as someone who's done a little work in stylometry, I'm sure that it's a lot easier to make your work look like it's not yours than it is to make your work look like a specific different person's. I haven't looked at this project, but I'm guessing that it'll do the former. If I made software that could do the latter, then I'd be loudly advertising that fact, or I'd keep silent and make use of it...

Re:conversion to another's style (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about a year ago | (#44478565)

I'm more curious what happens to the marketability of one's writing when they are no longer using their own writing style.

I am not able rightly to apprehend ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478973)

I am not able rightly to apprehend

the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

TLDR: GIGO

ironic captcha: methods

yeahbutt (1)

djupedal (584558) | about a year ago | (#44478079)

Just don't lick the envelope.

not "AI" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478101)

The things that pass for artificial intelligence these days! My dictionary and calculator are artificially intelligent! So is my toilet!

Re:not "AI" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478639)

If you don't understand the difference between this project and your calculator then you probably haven't studied AI enough to comment on that debate.

Re: not "AI" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479175)

If you think any algorithm qualifies as AI you lack intelligence of any sort.

Wasn't used to out J. K. Rowling (2)

Aurien (1357861) | about a year ago | (#44478123)

Sounds like some company is trying to toot their own horn here or something, but AI didn't out J.K. Rowling. Her lawyers friend did. http://www.businessinsider.com/russells-apologizes-to-jk-rowling-2013-7 [businessinsider.com]

Re:Wasn't used to out J. K. Rowling (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#44478247)

Sounds like some company is trying to toot their own horn here or something, but AI didn't out J.K. Rowling. Her lawyers friend did. http://www.businessinsider.com/russells-apologizes-to-jk-rowling-2013-7 [businessinsider.com]

This is a privacy related story on Slashdot. Facts have as much of a place here as in a Microsoft story.

Although Slashdot does hate lawyers, so maybe you can get some traction with this ...

Let's fire this baby up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478133)

OK so like any self-respecting AC, I have some pretty vitriolic opinions about pretty much everything. I decided to type up my normal flamebait troll and send it through this system. Now, Good luck figuring out which AC is trolling you...

Anonymous identity? What a bag of lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna Portman. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis beowulf exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Fuckers!

Identimafy me then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478199)

Given I regularly troll morons on 4chan, I would love to see this identify me, or generally just people that either troll or type a lot of random crap in, say, chatrooms.
Even that above sentence is horribly written on purpose.
And by troll, I actually mean troll, not the bastardized form it takes now where people are just out for any silly reply.
I have and always will troll for discussion, not replies. Trolling for replies is the weakest form of troll. They aren't even a troll, just a retard.

Also, you think this is going to identify people that type very little? Or have multiple personalities, bipolar disorders or similar? Has any of this research been done in those areas?
It would be interesting to see how it fairs against these types of people.

Re:Identimafy me then. (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44481511)

Also, you think this is going to identify people that type very little? Or have multiple personalities, bipolar disorders or similar?

No, it probably can't. And there's likely to be many, many other scenarios in which it cannot detect the writer reliably. So what? It doesn't have to be completely perfect to be useful.

The best VPN, Proxy and SmartDNS Encryption (0)

nauseous (2239684) | about a year ago | (#44478279)

This is the best encryption that I've used overplay.net/#a_aid=linuxsecrets I've used overplay now for years and I've never had any issues. Great service and secure.

Corporate Voice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478693)

A software package called Corporate Voice did this 20 years ago.

Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478695)

My version changes my writing style to appear as if I am someone else. It randomly picks newspaper articles and fits my words to someone else's "signature"

Anonymizing Content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478705)

At , managers were graded on how their subordinates graded *them* on internal surveys. When managers in my sub-group didn't get good enough grades, they basically told us "just score us high, no matter what you think; shut up and give us good grades." So I did. Then, in the freeform comment section, I wrote a message that reported the order the behavior. Since I didn't trust the anonymity of the surveys, I ran the text through google translate in a loop. English -> Language A -> Language B -> Language C -> Language D -> Language E -> English, then posted *that* in. By the time it was done, it was *awful*. Understandable, but awful. Managers stopped harping on the internal surveys soon after. Correlation is not causation, but still. Posted AC for obvious reasons.

Style tester (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478713)

So where's the tool that informs me if my current writing style is ranked up with famous authors (i.e. your writing style is 98% like Stephen King's and 42% like J.K. Rowling's) or otherwise (i.e. your writing style is 110% like a chimp throwing feces at a keyboard or Stephenie Meyer, take your pick)?

Re:Style tester (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year ago | (#44479537)

Right here [iwl.me] . :)

Looks like a typical web toy, so I wouldn't quit your job and start working on your Great American Novel based on the results.

Tor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478729)

Writing style is just one of many ways you can leak information about your identity, even if using something like Tor. If you really want to write stuff anonymously, this kind of software may be a valuable asset.

I have to wonder how automated translation software would compare in effectiveness. Translate to some other language and back, then fix the broken stuff. Of course, you can't use a web service for that or you leak the pre-anonymized version.

This is a Dupe (1)

NobleSavage (582615) | about a year ago | (#44478781)

Re:This is a Dupe (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about a year ago | (#44481047)

Are you sure that they didn't run the article through this program just to see if it worked? Since you noticed, it apparently doesn't work very well.

Deanonymisation based on facts still a problem tho (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478991)

If I consistently use the program to post under the same pen-name the facts could be correlated to the real me. Gotta make a point of telling a lie about myself with each post. What I need is a way to keep my alter ego's facts consistent.

Been done before (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44479363)

MS did this years ago built into their speech recognition but failed to market it as a useful feature.

Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all

The true purpose: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479377)

Helping techies pass mandatory English classes without all that cumbersome original writing. Goodbye automatic plagiarism detection.

BUSTED! And on AOL! (1)

Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) | about a year ago | (#44481467)

Way back, in the dim, distant past of the bucolic walled gardens that preceded the Internet as we know it ... there was AOL. AOL had walled predator-free gardens within gardens, where only teens younger than 18 were supposed to be communicating.

There were rumors that evil pedophiles were lurking in these gardens, so I made a sub-account for a totally bogus 16-year old boy named Alex. And Alex went forth to play.

All was going well, Alex was quite a popular young man amongst his peers and had lured ZERO pedophiles when he got this e-mail from a fellow writer: "Alex, are you Tsu?"

BUSTED ... not because of subject matter or vocabulary, but because of a @#$&%^ liking for compound, complex sentences and other arcane constructions ... and using them accurately.

Facepalm... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44481551)

JStylo-Anonymouth (JSAN)?! Could you possible have come up with any more clunky name than that? ;) Damn, I should set up some agency just to create punchy names for all these projects.
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