Thursday, June 05, 2014

Charlie Stross Explains Why This is a Bad Idea

So apparently the US Secret Service wants software to detect sarcasm.

Charlie Stross explains why this is a Bad Idea. Highlights:

...then the Internet happened, and it just so happened to coincide with a flowering of highly politicized and canalized news media channels such that at any given time, whoever is POTUS, around 10% of the US population are convinced that they're a baby-eating lizard-alien in a fleshsuit who is plotting to bring about the downfall of civilization, rather than a middle-aged male politician in a business suit.


Indeed, a successful sarcasm detector implies not only an eerily functional human consciousness emulation and a metric fuckton of encoded knowledge about human cultural relationships, but the ability to engage in primate social interaction with sufficient agility to tell when a primate means something, and when a primate is signalling an implicit negation of meaning. Which in turn means the sarcasm detector requires a theory of mind. Hello, singularity! And while I'm at it, can I have a pony? And the moon on a stick, too. KTHX.

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