These Emojis Are Logical

August 9, 2016

Emojis are a secondary language for many people, especially the younger sect, and whole messages can be conveyed within a few images.  Someone needs to write an algorithm to translate emoji only messages, but machine learning has not yet reached the point where it can understand all the intricacies associated with emojis.  Or has it?  TechCrunch shares that “Dango Mind-Melds With Emoji Using Deeping Learning And Suggests Them While They Type.”

Dango is an emoji suggestion chatbot.  Unlike the Microsoft chatbot that became anti-Semitic and misogynist in a matter of hour, Dango just wants to give you emoji suggestions to pep up your messages:

“Okay, so Dango is one of those virtual assistants that lives in your chat apps, and this one is based on a neural network that has been trained with millions of examples to understand what emoji mean. So not only can it suggest an appropriate one, but it can translate entire sentences. Its icon is a weird piece of cute cake, which sits above your keyboard watching you type. It’s free for Android right now, with an iOS version coming out eventually.”

Aww, it’s a little cake icon that sits above your keyboard.  Is it not tempting already to download it make Dango your friend?  The cute factor comes after the deep machine learning took place.

The Dango programmers used a recurrent neural network to teach Dango how to decipher the meaning of emoji.  It would guess, then check against real world examples, then adjust its parameters when it was wrong.  The guesses were assembled in a “semantic space” that relates the emojis to concepts (check the article for the visualization).

Dango is constantly updating itself to be on top of the latest slang and memes, including the negative aspects of the language.  Dango is still learning, especially when it comes to translating entire sentences to pictures.  Before you say that the written language cannot be replicated in little images, it was done eons ago by Egyptians, Sumerians, Phoenicians, and still by the Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian cultures.



Whitney Grace, August 9, 2016
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