Oh, look everyone, a Sarcasm Detector. What a useful invention. This will go great for my iPhone!
French tech firm Spotter has apparently devised an analytics platform capable of identifying sarcastic comments, according to the BBC.
Spotter’s platform scans social media and other sources to create reputation reports for clients such as the EU Commission. As with most analytics packages that determine popular sentiment, the software parses semantics, heuristics and linguistics. However, automated data-analytics systems often have a difficult time with some of the more nuanced elements of human speech, such as sarcasm and irony—an issue that Spotter has apparently overcome to some degree, although company executives admit that their solution isn’t perfect.
“One of our clients is Air France. If someone has a delayed flight, they will tweet, ‘Thanks Air France for getting us into London two hours late’—obviously they are not actually thanking them,” Spotter executive Richard May told the BBC. “We also have to be very specific to specific industries.”