Thought experiment: You're the Twitter guru for Air France. There is a strike, and all your flights for the day are landing late. Someone tweets: "Thanks Air France for getting us into London two hours late". Now, how are you meant to know if they're sincerely thanking you or not? This is the sort of impossible problem Spotter is seeking to solve, with its patented Sarcasmometer 3000*.
Spotter, whose clients include the Home Office, Air France (yep, the example above is a real one used by Spotter), and the EU Commission, charges a minimum of £1,000 per month for its services. In return, it'll detect sarcasm on social media, user feedback, and probably even blog posts**.
Companies of the world, here's a sincere offer: give me £1,000, and I'll detect sarcasm for you, whether it be on Twitter, Google Plus, or engraved into a thank-you dog turd.
Besides Spotter's wonderful business model, the technology is actually fairly smart. The algorithm claims to have an 80 per cent accuracy in spotting sarcasm. When you think about the state that most language analysis tools are at, that really ain't bad.
And yes, I am immesely grateful that tax money is being spent (both by UK and EU citizens) on the advancement of this wonderful technology. I can honestly think of no better use for the cash. [BBC News]
*there isn't such a thing as the Sarcasmometer. I was being sarcastic (in case I fell into the 20% of non-detected cases).
**Of course, no need to scan this blog post for sarcasm. No need at all.