Brian Moore, an artist and technologist, created the LOL Verifier, a device that verifies if you actually laughed out loud when you type "LOL".
Do you ever get a text from a friend with a video that makes you smile, but not quite laugh out loud? We've all been there. So, you settle for a quick "LOL" response. But did you really? The LOL Verifier is here to help! Created by Brian Moore, the device will only allow you to type and send "LOL" if it confirms that you actually laughed out loud. Moore said in a video posted on Twitter, "I remember when LOL meant 'laugh out loud,' you know, a real chortle. And now it means nothing. Dulled down to the mere acknowledgment of a message." So, the next time you're tempted to just send a generic "LOL" response, think twice - you may need to crack a real smile for the LOL Verifier.
I made this thing called LOL Verifier: a device that only lets you type lol if you’ve actually laughed out loud pic.twitter.com/Gsc63yGEm0— Brian Moore (@lanewinfield) January 3, 2023
Moore, who is an artist who likes to play with technology to make a point, told Vice in a phone call that he had long been thinking about the plight of LOL. “The deflation of the LOL, as it were, was a realization when I started talking with friends. LOL does not say anything anymore. It might as well be punctuation,” he said. “I wanted to figure out if there was a way to make something that would actually verify it,” he continued. “Finally, I figured out a way to make it into a physical piece of hardware that sits between your keyboard and your computer and sniffs for a LOL.”
This device, a small black box printed with the acronym "LOL" on its surface, is connected to a computer with a cable. It has a large light in the center. Upon a user typing "LOL," the device will listen for any form of laughter. If a form of laughter is detected, the light will turn green and a verification message, "✅LOL verified at [time]," will be inserted into the message. If no laughter is found, the light will turn red and the typed "LOL" will be replaced with another message such as "that's funny" or "ha."
The software inside is in part an AI model that listens for laughter. “The way that this specific model works is that you need to train it on what a laugh sounds like—but it also has to know what ‘not a laugh’ sounds like,” Moore said. “I recorded hundreds of [laughter samples]. It was definitely upwards of half an hour just laughing into my computer like an insane person.”
“The laughs are varied from chuckles to just me going, ‘Ha,’ really loudly,” he continued. “But then training it on not-laughs, like keyboard sounds and silence. Background noise, TV noise, music. That stuff does not count.”
We’ve all been there: a friend texts you a video, and it’s funny, but not that funny. So, you settle for a half-smile and say “lol.” Enter the LOL Verifier. It’s a device that, according to its creator Brian Moore, only lets you type “LOL” if it confirms you laughed out loud. pic.twitter.com/cHQ1adB1cR— VICE India (@viceindia) January 12, 2023
And yes, he actually uses it! “It’s been really fun to use because I’ve realized just how many times I type out LOL and don't mean anything,” Moore said. “So it's really keeping me incredibly honest. I’m at least checking the box for my New Year's resolution of being a more honest person.” Moore had high hopes for his LOL Verifier and was pleased to find that people had the same reverence for the acronym as he did. He was confident that with its help, the true spirit of LOL would remain strong for many years to come. As a result, people could be sure that when they received a LOL, it was genuine and not just a reflexive response. Moore was also unsure what the future held for the LOL Verifier. He decided that if it was accepted by the public, he would make it more accessible by releasing the code. “I want people to be able to laugh into their computer for 20 minutes straight if they want to,” he said.
The LOL Verifier was a project that was close to Moore's heart, and in the end, it was a success. He was pleased to see people enjoying it, and was sure that it would help to keep the true spirit of LOL alive for years to come.