“Can a word smile? Can it roll its eyes? Or say sorry, not sorry? … We’re excited to announce Google Translate support for Emoji. With a click of a button our translation algorithm interprets the content and tone of words, and distills them down into clear, articulate and meaningful symbols.” Google announced it yesterday. They had me going for a minute, till I realized it was April Fool’s Day. “The Chrome team is really excited about being able to translate the entire internet into Emoji. URLs, emojify. E-commmerce, emojify. Medical journals, emojify. … Some of our engineers have even started to code in emoji.”
Okay, Google got me. However, they are not entirely kidding, which is probably why the joke worked. Sentiment analysis is the use of natural language processing to extract subjective meaning from text. Emoji translation is a perfectly achievable concept, not to replace text completely, but to enrich the readability of text in some contexts.