Understanding emoji ambiguity in context: The role of text in emoji-related miscommunication

Hannah Miller, Daniel Kluver, Jacob Thebault-Spieker, Loren Terveen, Brent Hecht

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent studies have found that people interpret emoji characters inconsistently, creating significant potential for miscommunication. However, this research examined emoji in isolation, without consideration of any surrounding text. Prior work has hypothesized that examining emoji in their natural textual contexts would substantially reduce the observed potential for miscommunication. To investigate this hypothesis, we carried out a controlled study with 2,482 participants who interpreted emoji both in isolation and in multiple textual contexts. After comparing the variability of emoji interpretation in each condition, we found that our results do not support the hypothesis in prior work: when emoji are interpreted in textual contexts, the potential for miscommunication appears to be roughly the same. We also identify directions for future research to better understand the interplay between emoji and textual context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2017
PublisherAAAI press
Pages152-161
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781577357889
StatePublished - 2017
Event11th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2017 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: May 15 2017May 18 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 11th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2017

Other

Other11th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2017
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period5/15/175/18/17

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank the Amazon Mechanical Turk workers who made this study possible by providing us with interpretations. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Grant No. 00039202. We would also like to thank our anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2017, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (www.aaai.org). All rights reserved.

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