U.S. Secret Service Requests Software to "Detect Sarcasm" on Twitter

BlameTheWizards

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U.S. Secret Service Requests Software to "Detect Sarcasm" on Twitter



"The ability to detect sarcasm and false positives is just one of 16 or 18 things we are looking at," a Secret Service spokesperson told The Washington Post.

Communicating online can be tough. In a text-only environment, the loss of nuance given from a tone of voice can make it difficult for a lot of people to tell whether or not something's meant to be taken seriously. Just ask the U.S. Secret Service.

The group, whose responsibilities include the protection of national leaders and investigating financial crimes, posted an online work order earlier this week looking for analytic software capable of "synthesizing large sets of social media data and visually presenting the data," according to The Washington Post. Among the Secret Service's requests for the software is "the ability to detect sarcasm and false positives."

Secret Service spokesperson Ed Donovan told the Post that the requested software would allow his organization to create its own system for monitoring Twitter, which the Post says would cover the service's own social media footprint and items trending on the social network. And while it does sounds like the NSA-style spying that's frequently in the media these days, Donovan gives an example to the Post as to how the technology can be put towards more civilian interests:


For example, Donovan said, when people were holding purple tickets to the 2009 inauguration and were trapped inside a tunnel under the Capitol, unable to get through security gates, the Secret Service could have, perhaps, done something about it with the right information.


The sarcasm detections is actually intended to be just a small feature of the requested program, Donovan said.


"Our objective is to automate our social media monitoring process. Twitter is what we analyze. This is real time stream analysis . The ability to detect sarcasm and false positives is just one of 16 or 18 things we are looking at. We are looking for the ability to quantity our social media outreach," he said. "We aren't looking solely to detect sarcasm."


The new program sounds like a lot of work, but we're sure the Secret Service will get it up in no time. Super sure.

Source: The Washington Post

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Roxas1359

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Aug 8, 2009
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Well unfortunately for the secret service, every time we try to build a sarcasm detector it explodes because of there being too much sarcasm detected.

*sigh*
Remember when the Secret Service tried to be secret about spying on it's citizens. (let's face it, they always have been doing it anyway) :p
 

Rellik San

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Oh god imagine trying to use it in the UN everytime a major EU nation talks to America... dear god the explosions would be several megatons large. XD
 

SKBPinkie

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Nowhere Man said:
I'm sure this will end well for all involved.

/sarcasm
All they need to do is look for the "/sarcasm" tags.

I've figured it out, guys. I'm expecting my 20 million dollars soon, thanks. Add that to the $4 mill I'll be getting from that Nigerian dude, and I'll be stinkin rich!
 

Nowhere Man

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SKBPinkie said:
Nowhere Man said:
I'm sure this will end well for all involved.

/sarcasm
All they need to do is look for the "/sarcasm" tags.

I've figured it out, guys. I'm expecting my 20 million dollars soon, thanks. Add that to the $4 mill I'll be getting from that Nigerian dude, and I'll be stinkin rich!
*Ding ding ding* Sarcasm detected, I repeat, sarcasm detected. Send the men in suits and cool sunglasses.
 

Chimpzy_v1legacy

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Jun 21, 2009
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Because someone was bound to post this anyway.

But seriously, how would they do it? Do they secretly have mind-reading devices or something?
 

shadowxvii

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There is a punctuation mark used for sarcasm, it's called the Irony punctuation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony_punctuation). Now if people would just use it, that'd be perfect.
 

Sidmen

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SKBPinkie said:
Nowhere Man said:
I'm sure this will end well for all involved.

/sarcasm
All they need to do is look for the "/sarcasm" tags.

I've figured it out, guys. I'm expecting my 20 million dollars soon, thanks. Add that to the $4 mill I'll be getting from that Nigerian dude, and I'll be stinkin rich!
I sometimes also use purple text.

Maybe it should just be mandatory that sarcasm be always formatted with purple text.
 

CriticalMiss

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We can solve this problem, we have the punctuation! Everyone just needs to start using the 'sarcastrophe'.

http://www.8020comms.com/blog/2011/11/express-yourself-the-wonderful-world-of-interrobangs-and-sarcastrophes/

Also, this is a ^great^ use of taxpayer money.
 

rembrandtqeinstein

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I predict this will work astoundingly. They will be so successful they will get noble prizes in linguistics for their effort. Nothing inspires me more than the tireless efforts of selfless public servants performing their duties for the greater good. I am crying manly patriotic tears just thinking about it.
 

Me55enger

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Gotta respect the Secret Services for their ability take everything seriously.

Seriously, why so serious?
 

Atrocious Joystick

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I have the utmost respect for the secret service of those United States of America. Their ability to parse through the complex social interaction of the internet strikes me breathless. Bravo, good sirs.
 

TheRightToArmBears

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Given how good American human beings are at detecting sarcasm, I have my reservations about how well an American computer program can.
 

Ninmecu

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BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAA*Inhalesdeeply*HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAA...


Wow, that's, I don't even, wow.


I used to need one of those, but for real life. Then I learned/mastered the art of Sarcasm. I'm so good at it people actually realize when I'm being sarcastic now o.o

Also, how could software determine whether one is being sarcastic or not, since sarcasm requires, y'know, enunciation and proper ways of saying certain words, I mean the closest we can really pull off on the internet is to italicize things, and...well, that's limited in it's use at best.
 

Baresark

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I don't have any faith in software that can actually detect sarcasm. Your best bet is an analyst, and even then, people are abysmal at detecting sarcasm in text format.

TheRightToArmBears said:
Given how good American human beings are at detecting sarcasm, I have my reservations about how well an American computer program can.
Either you are being sarcastic, or you actually think Americans are worse at detecting it than everyone else, which isn't true.

This could be proof that humans suck at detecting sarcasm in text format, as I stated above.
 

Sidmen

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Scrumpmonkey said:
Really Secret Service? Are you just getting straight up troll tier now or are you that divorced from reality? I like to imagine he gave those answers in a really salty, patronizing, sarcastic tone XD

Sidmen said:
I sometimes also use purple text.

Maybe it should just be mandatory that sarcasm be always formatted with purple text.
Yeahhhh.. suuure. That would be REALLY useful. That would be soooo useful im going to do it right now. Look at me doing it right now. You had SUUUCH a good idea. You just solved all of the world's problems, bravo.
See, it works. I can tell you're being sarcastic because I see the text is purple. Otherwise I would've believed that you were being sincere in your praise. Congrats, you hurt my feelings with my own idea - good job sir.