Amazingly cool Internet filter against stupidity!

published Nov 12, 2007, last modified Jun 26, 2013

If you ever had to undergo the horrible torture that is reading YouTube comments, you can now rest safe and sound, knowing that rampant stupidity will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to Bayesian probabilities.

The system in question that will deliver us from stupid is called (somewhat appropriately, would you say?) StupidFilter, and has been in development for a while now.

It consists of a rather dumb Bayesian system -- the exact opposite of an expert system, which consists of brute-forcing a corpus of data and inferring useful information from the corpus without contextual understanding. In other words, it's a giant, incredibly stupid but learning machine that is being trained to identify the stupid out of a quarter of a million wastes of time pulled straight out of (wait for it) YouTube itself!

How it works is rather simple. Given a large amount of comments ranked smart to stupid, it identifies the chance that a particular word is in a stupid comment. Example: if the word moran frequently appears in comments deemed stupid, then future comments with that word will be deemed stupid. Bayesian filtering was suggested first by Paul Graham in his now-famous essay A plan for spam, and (perhaps due to its dead-simple mathematical ruthlessness, perhaps because it works like a charm) is now in use for antispam systems in both mail servers and the Akismet blog commenting filter.

At the moment, there's not much from the project to showcase, except for a damn hilarious stupid randomizer that will let you spend countless hours and inches of eyelashes at your computer, marveling at the utter inanity of regular YouTubers. It cracked the fuck me up -- and it's feature-complete, down to the customary big MOAR button!

Let's hope they deliver a solution soon. I can't wait to plug it into my blog and clean up comments en masse.