Facebook was recently granted a patent for software capable of building a dictionary of slang terms used on the social network. The software will scan for unique words used in Facebook posts and comments, and determine if these words have a particular meaning among a small group of people, Business Insider reports. In other words, the software will attempt to predict slang before it becomes popular.
Should I make a word up now?
The software will look for the repeated use of particular words among users who share certain attributes, like language and location. Once the software has determined that a neologism isn't yet largely associated with a particular definition, it will add the word to a glossary of terms. If a word starts shrinking in popularity, it would be removed. Words could also be added to the glossary based on user polls, according to the patent filing.
It's not clear how exactly the glossary could be used, but it seems like it could function similarly to Urban Dictionary. The patent filing mentions the possibility of an interface that would allow users to add, remove, and edit words in the glossary. For now, the glossary just a concept, and there's no guarantee Facebook will ever build it.