The Hawkeye system used in cricket and tennis is to be trialled in the world of comedy to establish definitively whether an attempt at a joke crosses the line or not. Each joke is automatically tracked in real-time from a large number of viewpoints ranging from Frankie Boyle Fan to Daily Mail Letter Writer, before a composite view is analysed to establish the result. Jokes that cross the line are declared as ‘out’ and the perpetrator is mercilessly castigated, albeit primarily by abusive trolls.
A Hawkeye spokesman explained the challenges of the new adaptation of the technology. ‘The biggest difficulty is determining how and where to draw the line. Some suggested simply drawing a line in the sand but it’s not as simple as that. The solution we’ve come up with combines the lines for racism, sexism, political-correctness, general bad-taste and many other aspects to generate a three-dimensional representation of a knuckle. It is the proximity of the joke to this knuckle that determines the outcome.’
Initial concerns that the introduction of the technology would lead to over-regulation have led to the system being equipped with sliding scales of sensitivity, depending on the application. For example, TV programme producers are provided with settings such as ‘before watershed’, ‘after watershed’ and ‘Jimmy Carr’.
Midfield Diamond (hat tip to dvo4fun)