AI knows when you’re being sarcastic on Twitter

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3D model dancing as Replica AI raps

(Image credit: Replica)

The future is hurtling toward us, and with each passing day AI is getting smarter. We’ve seen AI that will play your games for you, and if you’re using a 30-series Nvidia GPU, you’ve probably utilised the company’s DLSS supersampling AI tech to upscale your game resolutions. But I bet you weren’t aware AI can now not only detect sarcasm, it can also then rap about it.

Even we humans have trouble with sarcasm in it’s written form, especially in the case of Twitter where the majority of users refuse to use punctuation. Thankfully a study from DARPA researchers, at the University of Central Florida, has birthed an AI that can recognise the tone of an internet troll with over 80% accuracy on Reddit, and on Twitter it surpasses 90% accuracy (via Engadget).

A recent press statement from DARPA’s Social Sim project outlines that the researchers “demonstrated an interpretable deep learning model that identifies words from input data—such as Tweets or online messages—that exhibit crucial cues for sarcasm, including sarcastic connotations or negative emotions.” 

The AI works by using “recurrent neural networks and attention mechanisms,” through which it “tracks dependencies between the cue-words and then generates a classification score, indicating whether or not sarcasm is present.”

This in itself is an awesome achievement, and could end up forming a basis for AI based moderation of forums and social media in the future. But in the same news sweep we discovered AI has also started rapping… and now we’re starting to panic. 

We knew AI could write speeches and screenplays, even full-blown novels, but this has ripped the uncanny valley a new one.

Okay, so it’s not technically the AI rapping. As a representative of the company behind this cringe video, Replica, admitted in an email to The Verge, “the team created this during an internal company hackathon for fun using a new feature that’s under development, not yet open to the public.” It’s essentially an AI voice matching the cadence and timing of a Replica employee spitting some mad rhymes. It didn’t write the jam or anything so don’t get too worked up. 

AI won’t be replacing the rap gods anytime soon, but in the comment section it might well be able to distinguish those who really enjoyed the performance from the downright derisive.

Katie is a confessed logophile with a love of metaphor and an insatiable creative urge. She’s also an RPG, sim and survival game enthusiast who harbours an overt disdain for MMOs, un-managed cables and software that doesn’t include a dark mode.

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