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Making Memes Accessible – new system is able to identify memes with 92% accuracy

Memes are a form of communication. Even if you don’t personally get them or understand only a subset of them, that doesn’t change the fact that the joke format is one that is used to communicate a wide range of expressions. The downside is that they’re not accessible. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have trained a system that can classify memes with 92% accuracy making the accessible for sight impaired individuals.

The system isn’t perfect and sometimes the jokes don’t really land. After all, memes are a sort of shared language. People familiar with them know that if you see success kid it’s going to be a success story, we know when we see Willy Wonka it’s going to be a sarcastic statement and a woman yelling at cat signals it’s going to be two opposing opinions that amount to the same thing. Why? That’s just the way it is. Anyway, understanding them without the background can be difficult.

But that the system was able to identify what was going at all is an achievement. Right now, the only way for memes to be shared accessibly is by typing a text description which not every site does. Even though this doesn’t seem like a big deal, making memes accessible keeps communication open for all.

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