Monday 22 January 2018

YouTube algorithm detects funniest videos

Video-sharing site YouTube has developed an automatic way to rate how funny a video is – even going so far as counting the ‘LOLs’.

Although the company concedes that ‘humour is subjective’, a post on the Google Research blog claims to have cracked it.

“We focused on videos uploaded in the comedy category.,” writes Sanketh Shetty. “We captured the uploader’s belief in the funniness of their video via features based on title, description and tags. Viewers’ reactions, in the form of comments, further validate a video’s comedic value. To this end we computed more text features based on words associated with amusement in comments."

"Next we needed an algorithm to rank these funny videos by comedic potential, e.g. is “Charlie bit my finger” funnier than “David after dentist”? Raw viewcount on its own is insufficient as a ranking metric since it is biased by video age and exposure. We noticed that viewers emphasize their reaction to funny videos in several ways: e.g. capitalization (LOL), elongation (loooooool), repetition (lolololol), exclamation (lolllll!!!!!), and combinations thereof. If a user uses an “loooooool” vs an “loool”, does it mean they were more amused? We designed features to quantify the degree of emphasis on words associated with amusement in viewer comments. We then trained a passive-aggressive ranking algorithm using human-annotated pairwise ground truth and a combination of text and audiovisual features.”

The site already tries to rank musical quality in its 'YouTube Music Slam', but the Comedy Slam is already more popular.

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