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The Onion team works by making up headlines, and then writing the stories for it. They also keep a list of headlines that don’t quite make the cut. My favourite of those is “Man knifed with spork”.
onion  spork 
16 days ago by libbymiller
The Onion headlines could teach AI what makes satire funny • Science News
<p>The researchers compiled a dataset of satirical and serious headlines using the online game Unfun.me, where players edit humorous headlines from the satirical publication The Onion as little as possible to make them serious. These tweaks “put a finger onto the exact switch that induces the humor,” says Robert West, a computer scientist École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. He and coauthor Eric Horvitz, director of Microsoft Research in Redmond, Wash., amassed about 2,800 serious versions of nearly 1,200 headlines.

Most of the joke headlines followed a common logical structure, which West and Horvitz call “false analogy.” Words switched between spoof and serious headlines share a crucial similarity, as well as a fundamental difference.

Consider the humorless headline “BP ready to resume oil drilling” and its comedic counterpart “BP ready to resume oil spilling.” Subbing spilling for drilling works because both share the critical commonality of being activities famously associated with BP, but with one being intended and the other accidental. West and Horvitz identified several types of oppositions between words in serious and satirical headlines, such as modern versus outdated, human versus animal and obscene versus not.

These findings could help programmers create AI systems that better understand and have more natural interactions with humans, says Dan Goldwasser, an AI and natural language processing researcher at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., not involved in the analysis. </p>


The Onion team works by making up headlines, and then writing the stories for it. They also keep a list of headlines that don't quite make the cut. My favourite of those is "Man knifed with spork".
onion  machinelearning  satire 
17 days ago by charlesarthur

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