New York: Computer science researchers including one of Indian-origin at the University of Central Florida have developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based sarcasm detector for posts on social media platforms. Sarcasm has been a major hurdle to increasing the accuracy of sentiment analysis, especially on social media, since sarcasm relies heavily on vocal tones, facial expressions and gestures that cannot be represented in text. Also Read - THIS Company Has Shut Offices Worldwide to Give Its 700 'Burnt-Out' Staff One Week's Paid Break

While artificial intelligence (AI) refers to logical data analysis and response, sentiment analysis is akin to correctly identifying emotional communication on social media. “The presence of sarcasm in text is the main hindrance in the performance of sentiment analysis,” says Ivan Garibay, Assistant Professor of engineering from Complex Adaptive Systems Lab (CASL) at University of Central Florida. Also Read - Are You Using a Fake Oximeter App? Here's How to Find Out

Sarcasm isn’t always easy to identify in conversation, so you can imagine it’s pretty challenging for a computer programme to do it and do it well. “We developed an interpretable deep learning model using multi-head self-attention and gated recurrent units,” Garibay said in a paper published in the journal Entropy. Also Read - Google Photos to End Free Unlimited Storage From Tomorrow. Plans, Cost, Alternatives | All You Need to Know

The team taught the computer model to find patterns that often indicate sarcasm and combined that with teaching the programme to correctly pick out cue words in sequences that were more likely to indicate sarcasm. They taught the model to do this by feeding it large data sets and then checked its accuracy.

The team included computer science doctoral student Ramya Akula. “In face-to-face conversation, sarcasm can be identified effortlessly using facial expressions, gestures, and tone of the speaker,” Akula said.

“Detecting sarcasm in textual communication is not a trivial task as none of these cues are readily available. Specially with the explosion of internet usage, sarcasm detection in online communications from social networking platforms is much more challenging,” she added.