Catchy title! You definitely got me drawn in here!
You lost me a little bit with “it’s possible to build a relatively accurate Naive Bayes classifier that uses social action data, without the use of content or media-specific metadata, to understand if something is ‘funny’”. I tried to Google it, but I think I need a proper Googler to explain ;-).
Taking a step back, I wonder whether humor is really measurable without the use of voting buttons, polls, or perhaps audio measurement (laughs) and/or face recognition (smiles). I also wonder whether we actually need it. As you rightly point out, humor is used with a specific cause in mind:
– on a granular level, is this piece of communication good / positive / professional?
– on a higher level, how do you perceive this leader?
– on an even higher level, how would you rate our culture on these parameters?
Taking this all together, perhaps it’s easier to measure the effect rather than the input here?
Incredibly interesting article Blake – thanks so much for sharing!
What triggered me was your sentence “It will take very concrete and defensible analytics to help make decisions about who gets to enter training and who gets failed. Personality tests and surveys will never make the cut.” My question to you (as someone without a military background): would you ever want anyone to not be able to even enter training? Is there anything that would make the cut?
An interesting approach to this is the engineering entrance exam (which I helped design as an Ed Rep in my University). In Belgium, we are firm believers that everyone deserves a chance to enter University, so we do not have any admissions process. You just show up. However, the government wanted to tackle the problem of >50% drop-out rate after only 1 year in the engineering studies. It basically cost a lot of money… What we designed was an in-take exam which was compulsory but not binding. They show you what the likelihood is of you succeeding based on prior intakes with the same scores, but you are still allowed to enter the program. The interesting thing here is that you as an applicant know what you need to work on to get there. This might be interesting for the army as well?