I just read a letter to the editor that listed as benefits of casino gambling what were actually disadvantages. It took me two sentences to suspect it was sarcastic and three to confirm it. In fact, the writer had to get all blatant about it: “Upticks in crime, problem gambling, and other harmful social consequences are things we all need.” A subtler writer would have left the pejoratives out. We still would have recognized it as sarcasm if the claims were outrageous enough.
Here’s my point: Sarcasm has to be a tough one for AI.
Ironically, Joseph Weizenbaum’s ELIZA program that responded as if it were a Rogerian psychologist was taken seriously by a surprising number of people although Weizenbaum intended its content to be a parody. (You can play it online here.)
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