Emojis Train AI to Recognize Sarcasm


Ariella Brown,

Ariella Brown is a social media consultant, editor, and freelance writer who frequently writes about the application of technology to business. She holds a PhD in English from the City University of New York. Her Twitter handle is @AriellaBrown.

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Re: Sarcasm, irony, social
  • 9/30/2017 7:07:30 PM
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I think you're onto something! These are great suggestions. I'll get right on it...

 

[partial sarcasm at no extra cost]

Re: Sarcasm, irony, social
  • 9/29/2017 10:00:25 AM
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@SaneIT  I suppose I haven't watched that kind of children's programming to make the connection. But you know that -- like Harold Bloom argued for poetry -- films influenced each other and TV. The famous chocolate factory skit in I Love Lucy also had a precedent in Charlie Chaplin's Modern  Times, though he lacked the opportunity to stuff the candies into his mouth in his situation.

Re: Sarcasm, irony, social
  • 9/29/2017 6:58:22 AM
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@Ariella, I suppose part of it is the fact that it worked before.  I think the multitude of movies like Batman, Spiderman, etc. are less direct re-creations of another work.  What I'm referring to is not re-using characters or a theme but nearly a shot for shot remake of a particular scene from an older television show.  I see it quite often even down to a tight shot of the actor's face as they attempt to mimic one of Lucille Ball's dramatic faces.  If you have kids you may have seen these and not even realized why they felt familiar.  I can't find good quality video of the copy cats but the candy factory scene from I Love Lucy's Job Switching episode has been done by several kids shows that I know of.  Two that are easy find on YouTube but don't have great footage are a show called Drake and Josh that my kids watched often as well as the animated version of My Little Pony.  I think it would be an interesting skit to train an AI with.  If it was able to watch the scene and pick out the funny bits in each version and recognize where it had seen them before I think that would be a good step toward a humor bot.

Re: Sarcasm, irony, social
  • 9/28/2017 4:07:45 PM
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<I can't recall seeing an attempt at a remake of classic comedy scenes, so I can't comment on the quality of that. I will say that the original episodes of shows like I Love Lucy, The Honeymoooners, various Marx Brothers movies, Burns & Allen routines, etc. had a finesse and subtely of staging and comedy performance by highly skilled comedy actors that made the comedy work and become comic masterpieces.>

@Lyndon_Henry and people do hope to capitalize on that. See .broadway.com/buzz/189430/laura-bell-bundy-leslie-kritzer-michael-mcgrath-michael-mastro-to-lead-world-premiere-musical-the-honeymooners/

Based on the iconic CBS television series, The Honeymooners features a book by Dusty Kay and Bill Nuss, music by Stephen Weiner and lyrics by Peter Mills. This world premiere musical features direction by Tony winner John Rando and choreography by Emmy winner Joshua Bergasse with musical direction and vocal arrangements by Remy Kurs.

I'm just not sure that the show would ever have put in this plot:

In The Honeymooners, Ralph Kramden (McGrath) and his buddy Ed Norton (Mastro) are back and still shooting for the moon. After shocking their wives (Kritzer and Bundy) by winning a high-profile jingle contest, they are catapulted out of Brooklyn and into the cutthroat world of Madison Avenue advertising, where they discover that their quest for the American Dream might cost them their friendship. 

Re: Sarcasm, irony, social
  • 9/28/2017 4:04:51 PM
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@SaneIT <  I assume it's because younger kids will not have seen these sketches before so it feels fresh to them.  > Also they assume if it worked before, it should work now and why bother to create something new when you can just play it safe that way. It's that same kind of thinking that gives us multiple film versions of Batman, Spiderman, and various Avengers.

Re: Sarcasm, irony, social
  • 9/26/2017 8:58:09 AM
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I'm going to say that not much of it will translate well to AI given the fact that watching the young actors reproducing these scenes.  If humans can't watch them and re-create them without it looking painfully awkward I'm not sure that AI will understand the subtelties either.  If you don't have young kids around you'll probably miss these since it seems to be the shows for pre-teens that have latched onto the older shows for their material.  I assume it's because younger kids will not have seen these sketches before so it feels fresh to them.  

Re: Sarcasm, irony, social
  • 9/25/2017 4:47:41 PM
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..

SaneIT writes

... I believe that what you're noticing is the formula for television in general.  I realized watching shows with my kids that many of the situations, story lines, jokes, etc. all came from shows I could marginally remember seeing as a kid.  I lost track of how often a kid's show did a skit from I Love Lucy.  They were almost a shot for shot remake in many cases.  I think we're seeing the great recycling of comedy right now. 

I can't recall seeing an attempt at a remake of classic comedy scenes, so I can't comment on the quality of that. I will say that the original episodes of shows like I Love Lucy, The Honeymoooners, various Marx Brothers movies, Burns & Allen routines, etc. had a finesse and subtely of staging and comedy performance by highly skilled comedy actors that made the comedy work and become comic masterpieces.

Now, how much of that can be effectively translated into AI/ML algorithms?

..

Re: Sarcasm, irony, social
  • 9/25/2017 8:32:57 AM
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@Lyndon_Henry, I believe that what you're noticing is the formula for television in general.  I realized watching shows with my kids that many of the situations, story lines, jokes, etc. all came from shows I could marginally remember seeing as a kid.  I lost track of how often a kid's show did a skit from I Love Lucy.  They were almost a shot for shot remake in many cases.  I think we're seeing the great recycling of comedy right now.   Writers grab a simple concept that they know appealed to a wide audience and they adapt it to their characters then write an episode around how to get them into that situation.   TV has become a passive activity in many homes.  In my the TV tends to stay off most of the day unless someone sits down to watch some thing intentionally but when I visit friends or family the TV is always on even if no one is watching.  It has become background noise so the over the top and in your face programming feels like an attempt to capture eyes and attention. 

Re: Sarcasm, irony, social
  • 9/24/2017 9:24:24 PM
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@Lyndon_Henry that's an interesting proposition, trying to direct the direction humor rather than serving up what is currently popular. The problem is that generally producers seek to go for the obvious choices in deciding on what would sell. That accounts for the constant remakes and actual comic books serving as the basis of a major franchilse of films -- all designed with multiple sequels in mind -- today. 

Re: Sarcasm, irony, social
  • 9/24/2017 6:11:51 PM
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..

Ariella writes that

... humor can get very nuanced and subtle. I know my daughter claims that she doesn't care for the comedy in older films because it's filled with what she calls "connect-the-dots" type of humor rather than the more obvious jokes.

Several decades back I began noticing what I perceived as a decline in the quality of humor, especially as presented in the TV medium such as sitcoms. Humor was becoming far less incisive and reverting to a kind of comic book or animated cartoon level. It came across as "childish" ... but for adult audiences.

More nuanced and subtle humor fortunately still exists, at least to some extent in shows like SNL, some of the latenight comedians, and mock "news" or commentary shows such as those of Trevor Noah and John Oliver.

Hopefully a savvier new generation will bolster the sudience that appreciates this type of humor. AI? Remains to be seen ...

..

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