Interpreting sarcasm online is often a hard task and has led to many hurt feelings. Digital misunderstandings have doomed relationships and hurt reputations.
According to The Guardian, the French tech company Spotter claims to have created new analytics software that can reportedly detect sarcasm in online comments with up to 80% accuracy.
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The proprietary software uses linguistics, semantics and heuristics. The software is used by Spotter to create create algorithms and generate reports about online reputations of companies via the public's statements on social media sites and review sites.
"Nothing is fool-proof, we are talking about automated systems," Spotter's UK sales director Richard May told the BBC. "But five years ago you couldn't get this level of accuracy. We were at the 50% mark."
One of the areas of the web that is rife with sarcasm is poor customer service.
"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," added May.
"We also have to be very specific to specific industries. The word 'virus' is usually negative. But if you're talking about virus in the context of the medical industry, it might not be."