About this project
Help us build the world's first emoji translation engine and get a cool phrase book.
We need your help in building our engine, so we'll be compiling an emoji phrasebook as a token of our appreciation for your support.
We’re working with CHIPS, a local design firm based in Brooklyn NYC, and are really excited that the phrasebooks will bring the beautiful design and romance of the dawn of jet travel into the age of emoji.
The phrasebooks have a selection of our favorite phrases that will help you communicate in emoji, including but not limited to:
How we are doing it
To build any translation engine requires massive amounts of text that exists in both languages, which are sometimes called parallel texts.
There’s plenty of content around the web in English, but there’s not that much in emoji. Thats why we’re raising money on Kickstarter: we want to pay people to translate sentences into emoji.
We will then use those sentences to train a translation engine powered by statistics and machine learning. This method goes beyond a simple find-and-replace system, and actually models how ideas are represented in emoji, and then how simple ideas are composed to communicate complex ideas.
The end result will be an algorithm capable of translating any phrase from English to emoji (and back, we hope). Along with sharing the data, we’ll make the trained engine publicly available online for anyone to use, just like Google Translate. Just think of something you want to express in emoji, and press “Translate!”
We're especially excited to release our data set, which may be the first comprehensive corpus of emoji use in existence.
Where the money goes
We’re estimating we’ll need between $4,000 and $7,000 to pay translators to ensure a viable translation engine. The rest of the money raised by this project will go to creating and shipping rewards.
The budget for this project is quite complex and we’re hoping to spend as much as we can on the translations. Any additional money you’d like to pledge for your reward will mean more money to pay translators for more sentences. Since each additional sentence increases the quality, additional funds help us create better translations.
We’re volunteering our time for software development, design and logistics.
What we've done so far
We've asked our friends and family to help out with a trial run, and the results they've come back with have been very encouraging.
Here are a couple phrases with some different emoji translations below:
What you get
Other than the phrasebook, we're working on a shirt for select backers:
We're also asking backers to suggest phrases to be translated, and for $100, backers will be able to request something (within reason, ~1000 words) to be translated into emoji by Chris & Fred.
For $500, Fred is offering a signed hard cover color copy of Emoji Dick, his first, and one of the earliest emoji projects.
Who we are
We did an initial test batch of sentences and asked 50 of our friends and family to do some translations. Thanks in part to their hard work, this project became a reality.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge with this project is that the resulting translation engine won't be as accurate as we'd like.
Of course, there's no true established grammar for emoji like there is for English or other spoken languages, so simply determining its accuracy is somewhat subjective task. Indeed, through this project we may be taking the first steps towards discovering the grammar of emoji.
At the end of the day the more money we raise, the more phrases we can seed the engine with, and the more accurate it will become.
Other risks to this project include the standard challenges associated with fulfilling t-shirts and hard copies of books: we're hoping to keep shipping costs low, and are planning to work with a printer that can produce high quality phrasebooks at a low cost.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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