The Secret Service wants to know if you were just being sarcastic right there in that last Tweet. It can’t really tell. Which makes sense since sarcasm is defined as “the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny.” Sarcasm on the Internet is a particularly tricky thing.
But the Secret Service thinks it has a solution to its slow wits when it comes to getting the joke—data! The agency, in a work order posted Monday, nextgov.com discovered, began soliciting bids for analytics software that, among other things, has the “ability to detect sarcasm” and do a “sentiment analysis” on social media.
If this technology ever makes it onto the open market, online dating will never be the same.
TODAY IN SLATE
More Than Scottish Pride
What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows
Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?
The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.
Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.