“The next obvious question: What does a machine’s sense of irony do for us, the machine’s users? The strongest case can be made for the automated recognition of irony, and of sarcasm too, since these have such dramatic effects on the perception of a user’s sentiment, either in online reviews, social media, and emails, or in our direct interactions with the machine.
To do its job properly, a machine needs to grasp our intent, but irony can do for sentiment analysis what a magnet can do to a compass, making true north difficult to locate. So, for instance, if a machine is going to derive actionable insights from an online product review, it needs to know whether a positive outlook is sincere or ironic.”
More at MIT Press.