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AI knows when you're being sarcastic on Twitter

3D model dancing as Replica AI raps
(Image credit: Replica)
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The future is hurtling toward us, and with each passing day AI is getting smarter. We've seen AI that will play your games for you (opens in new tab), and if you're using a 30-series Nvidia GPU, you've probably utilised the company's DLSS supersampling AI tech (opens in new tab) to upscale your game resolutions. But I bet you weren't aware AI can now not only detect sarcasm, it can also then rap about it.

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Even we humans have trouble with sarcasm in it's written form, especially in the case of Twitter where the majority of users refuse to use punctuation. Thankfully a study from DARPA researchers, at the University of Central Florida, has birthed an AI that can recognise the tone of an internet troll with over 80% accuracy on Reddit, and on Twitter it surpasses 90% accuracy (via Engadget (opens in new tab)).

A recent press statement (opens in new tab) from DARPA's Social Sim project outlines that the researchers "demonstrated an interpretable deep learning model that identifies words from input data—such as Tweets or online messages—that exhibit crucial cues for sarcasm, including sarcastic connotations or negative emotions." 

The AI works by using "recurrent neural networks and attention mechanisms," through which it "tracks dependencies between the cue-words and then generates a classification score, indicating whether or not sarcasm is present."

This in itself is an awesome achievement, and could end up forming a basis for AI based moderation of forums and social media in the future. But in the same news sweep we discovered AI has also started rapping... and now we're starting to panic. 

We knew AI could write speeches and screenplays, even full-blown novels, but this has ripped the uncanny valley a new one.

Okay, so it's not technically the AI rapping. As a representative of the company behind this cringe video, Replica (opens in new tab), admitted in an email to The Verge (opens in new tab), "the team created this during an internal company hackathon for fun using a new feature that’s under development, not yet open to the public." It's essentially an AI voice matching the cadence and timing of a Replica employee spitting some mad rhymes. It didn't write the jam or anything so don't get too worked up. 

AI won't be replacing the rap gods anytime soon, but in the comment section it might well be able to distinguish those who really enjoyed the performance from the downright derisive.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.