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Metaphor recognition software aims to distinguish friend from foe

Sharif Sakr

While it's only right that people be protected from bad poetry, this could be taking things a tad too far. Intelligence officials at the Office of Incisive Analysis (no, really) have determined that metaphors could be of vital significance to national security. By, well, incisively analyzing the way people use metaphors in everyday conversations, they believe they can reveal "underlying beliefs and world views" -- such as negative feelings towards a particular country. Now they're calling on civilian scientists and academics to help them do this automatically using pattern recognition and supercomputers. Of course there's always the risk that smart terrorists will switch to using similes instead.

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