MILLION-DOLLAR IDEA: Software That Detects Typed Sarcasm


The Idea: This is the best invention ever.

While you may not have detected sarcasm in that last sentence, your computer might have.  That is, if it was using the Semi-Supervised Algorithm software for Sarcasm Identification.

Developed at the University of Jerusalem, the software is designed to recognise sarcastic sentences in product reviews.

Here’s the magical sarcasm algorithm:

sarcasm algorithm

In a trial involving 66,000 Amazon product reviews such as “Be sure to save your purchase receipt,” the algorithm had a 77 per cent accuracy rate in spotting sarcastic statements. Not bad for a computer’s first attempt at understanding the human sense of humour. 

Whose idea: Israeli research team at the University of Jerusalem 

Why it’s brilliant: How many arguments have you gotten in because an email or instant message was misinterpreted on the receiving end? Probably too many to count, and there’s only so much an emoticon can express. When an invention like this gets to be a little broader, we’ll fight less with our significant others and get more laughs from coworkers.

But for now, the software can help people decipher snarky recommendations and benefit companies by measuring public sentiment about products or ideas.

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