Facebook could start scanning posts to find out hip slang before it is cool, patent suggests

The tool could be used to create a dictionary, to stop people getting confused by wicked new lingo

Facebook is planning to create a new tool that will scan its network and find out any new slang, according to a patent.

The company has laid out plans for a tool that would look through Facebook posts and comments, and analyse the language that is used in them, keeping an eye out for unique words. If it spots any, then it’ll look to see if any those words appear to have a special meaning among a certain group of people.

By doing that, the software would be able to spot any new slang just as it is taking off. By doing so it would be able to spot new slang, the patent says.

Once it has spotted that slang, the information could be added to a dictionary of slang terms. New words could also be added by polling users about the words that they are using, the patent says.

That would presumably be used to help other people on the network understand what their friends are posting about, if a slang word is just taking off.

If the word started declining in popularity again, then the word would be removed from the dictionary, the patent says.

The idea is only at the patent stage for the time being, meaning that it isn’t clear whether Facebook has built or could ever implement such a plan. But it chimes with Facebook’s work in artificial intelligence, which has included work meant to help identify certain trends on the site before they take off.