Addressing The Dangers Of Sarcasm

by Travis Mateer

Why do people think they can still enjoy life? Why do people act like things are returning to normal? Millions of people are now bio-medical terrorist vectors, becoming hosts for the dreaded DELTA variant, and instead of doubling down on the serious solutions from BIG PHARMA, I go to Twitter and see memes like this:

Yes, these memes are dangerous, just like sarcasm can be dangerous, so it’s a good thing DARPA is doing critical work on detecting stuff like sarcasm. From the link:

With social media platforms representing one of the main conduits for adversarial propaganda, researchers are examining how information spreads across the digital environment and how it spills into action outside of the online presence. A recent breakthrough in sentiment analysis—with an algorithm that can detect sarcasm—from the University of Central Florida as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s SocialSim project, aids in this understanding and in defense.

Researchers are employing neural networks, machine learning and social media data sets to conduct basic research on developing of possible solutions to counter information warfare. The proliferation of information warfare against the United States has created a great need for counter capabilities to protect against adversarial interference.

The sarcasm detector is an important first step, says Brian Kettler, program manager, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Information Innovation Office (I2O), who is currently leading the Computational Simulation of Online Social Behavior program, the formal name for the SocialSim effort.

“Sarcasm can really trip up sentiment analysis,” the program manager states. “If you’re trying to understand how people are engaging with a particular narrative, if they are outraged by it or they are accepting of it, sarcasm could make it appear one way, but it really is a different way. Understanding sarcasm, I think it’s a basic capability, so that you’re not tripped up by it when you are doing things like sentiment analysis on a particular text.”

Isn’t this fantastic? Once sarcasm is detected and neutralized, we should move on to other dangers, like satire.

I hope artists will comply and not try any funny business with their creative talents over this very serious subject.

For my part, I’m working on getting my poetic alter-ego, William Skink, to understand the importance of going along with the program, but last week Skink wrote a song from the perspective of City Council candidate Daniel Carlino, and I may have to do a music video to accompany it, because it’s pretty awesome.

So stay tuned…

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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