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The future of internet comedy depends on a laugh authentication device called a LOL Verifier

Created by Brian Moore, the LOL Verifier checks whether any typed "LOL" is accompanied by a genuine laugh

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A Laughing Emoji Verifier better be next on the to-do list.
A Laughing Emoji Verifier better be next on the to-do list.
Screenshot: NurPhoto (Getty Images)

Dishonesty runs rampant on the internet. One person will make up a celebrity encounter that never happened, another will share a story about their precocious child’s reaction to breaking news, and, peppered throughout all of these falsehoods, everyday people will reply to completely unfunny texts and images with “LOL” while staring straight-faced at their screen.

Thankfully, one man is out to restore some integrity to the internet by tackling the last of these issues using a laugh authentication device dubbed “LOL Verifier.”

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In a video from Tuesday, LOL Verifier inventor Brian Moore debuted his work, showing off a device that seeks to “restore the authenticity of the LOL” by using AI audio recognition technology to combat the scourge of fake online laughter. The clip demonstrates how the Verifier functions. A little box, physically connected to the user’s computer, listens for laughter when a “LOL” is typed. If it identifies an actual chuckle, a green light shows on the box and the “LOL” is sent, accompanied by a written verification message. If it doesn’t hear a laugh, a red light is shown and the “LOL” is swapped for a suggested alternative response, like “that’s funny.”

Vice’s Jules Roscoe spoke to Moore to learn more about this important breakthrough in internet communication. Wanting to address the fact that, as he puts it, “LOL does not say anything anymore” and “might as well be punctuation,” Moore got to work on the Verifier. At the heart of his creation is “an AI model that listens for laughter,” which Moore trained by providing “upwards of half an hour just laughing into my computer like an insane person” as well as other, non-laughter sounds.

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Moore says he’ll “likely end up releasing the code if anybody wants to build one [a LOL Verifier] for themselves,” but warns that they’ll have to train the AI using the same solitary laugh process he employed. For now, he uses it personally, knowing that anyone who currently receives a “LOL” followed by a verification note from him “knows that I have truly laughed out loud, just like our internet forefathers intended it to be.”

Hopefully, the importance of this device is recognized by the public at large and, in the interest of creating an internet we can believe in, LOL Verifiers are made standard as software included in all phones and modems going forward.

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