Sarcasm is hard to identify? I don't believe it.

Sarcasm is hard to identify? I don't believe it.

Originally shared by Lev Lafayette

A new paper from researchers in India and Australia, "Automatic Sarcasm Detection: A Survey," highlights one of the strangest and ironically most humorous facets of the problems in machine learning and humour. The paper outlines ten years of research efforts from groups interested in detecting sarcasm in online sources. It details the ways that academia has approached the sarcasm problem, including flagging authors and ring-fencing sarcastic data. However, the report concludes that the solution to the problem is not necessarily one of pattern recognition [PDF], but rather a more sophisticated matrix that has some ability to understand context.

If an automatic system can detect sarcasm, then it is arguable (put aside Searle for just a moment) that it may understand sarcasm.
If so, how do we know it's not just taking the piss when it provides feedback?


  1. Wasn't there some article that suggested people on the Conservative side in the USA often have difficulty understanding sarcasm too. Why they didn't realise that Colbert wasn't actually one of them.


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