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Emojis help software spot emotion and sarcasm

Emoji icons have helped scientists train computers to understand sarcasm. Researchers used 1.2 billion tweets containing at least one of the most popular 64 emojis to develop DeepMoji. The algorithm learned first to predict which emoji was likely to be used and then to recognise sarcasm, allowing it to spot hate speech faster than humans. It could also be used to assess how people really feel about different brands or to improve human interaction with smart programs such as chatbots. “Because we can’t use intonation in our voice or body…

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Emojis honoured in world celebration

New York’s Empire State Building will be lit up in yellow to mark a day that organisers hope will put a smile on millions of faces. It is one of several stunts planned for World Emoji Day, which celebrates the colourful symbols used in instant messages, on 17 July. London’s Royal Opera House will present 20 well-known operas and ballets in emoji form online. There are 2,666 emojis currently on the official Unicode Standard list. The Unicode consortium lays out the framework for emojis and decides what should be depicted,…

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'Real Talk' is a sex ed app for teens, complete with eggplant emojis

Most teenagers might throw out a pamphlet on birth control, but the creators of a new mobile app that looks more like Instagram or Snapchat are hopeful they can capture the attention of young people navigating a world of dating, sex and hormones. Real Talk, a free app that will launch this spring, tries to answer teens’ questions about puberty and relationships in a conversational format. Users can read stories submitted by teenagers, which appear as text messages peppered with slang and emojis – even eggplants and peaches that represent body…

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