Computers Can Sense Sarcasm? Yeah, Right
Scientific American - 08/26/2016
Humans pick up on sarcasm instinctively and usually do not need help figuring out if, say, a social media post has a mocking tone. Machines have a much tougher time with this because they are typically programmed to read text and assess images based strictly on what they see. So what’s the big deal? Nothing, unless computer scientists could help machines better understand wordplay used in social media and on the internet. And it looks like they may be on the verge of doing just that.
Other scientists in the field say the work is an important step toward helping computers understand natural language. “Irony or sarcasm requires a notion of context. It is quite different from spam or even [textual] sentiment analysis,” says Byron Wallace, an assistant professor at Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science who was not involved in the Turin–Yahoo! project. “Trying to incorporate some notion of context; that’s what’s cool about this.”