Fahlman, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, posted “: – )” on the school’s online bulletin board. This bulletin board is a primitive kind of social network restricted to text only, accessible only to other users on the university’s closed intranet.
With its smiley face, the predecessor of the emoji, dubbed “the first digital emoji” by Guinness World Records, Fuhlmann sought to solve a problem familiar to today’s internet users: communicating sarcasm online.

“Someone will say something with sarcasm. Among many readers there was one person who did not understand the joke and reacted with anger and hostility, but soon the initial argument disappeared and “Everyone was arguing with everyone.” CNN Business told CNN Business, “People can’t tell if you’re joking when you’re using text-only internet media. Neither your body language nor your facial expressions.” There is none.”

Four decades later, emoticons, and later emojis, have become central to conversations online and sometimes offline. There are more than 3,600 of his emojis available for users to express every emotion and effectively address the original issues Fuhrman identified. .

“They deliver the indescribable. They make it clear what kind of okay it is when you say ‘okay’.” Jennifer Daniel, director of the Emoji Subcommittee of the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit that oversees emoji standards, said: โ€œBody language, intonation, volume, eye contact, things we do naturally face to face.โ€

What started as a few punctuation marks typed on a college bulletin board is now a global effort to expand representation in digital form, with input from tech company staff and Unicode as well as users. is also increasing. But decades later, it remains a work in progress.

Evolution from : – ) to ๐Ÿ˜‚

It didn’t take long for the original emoticon and its many variations to spread beyond Carnegie Mellon. In those early days, winking faces, noseless smiles, and open-mouthed gasps were born out of the classic cologne, dash, and brace grin.

However, it will take time for emoji to become popular in the United States.

In the mid-1990s, Japanese mobile operator NTT Docomo added a little black heart to its pager. By 1997, another Japanese company, Softbank, had released his 90-character emoji set loaded into mobile phone models, but not until 1999 when Docomo announced his 176-character collection. , the graphics did not become popular.

Forty years ago, Scott Fahlman typed what is considered the first emoticon. There are thousands of emoji today, but digital representation is still a work in progress.

No extension beyond Japan really took hold until Unicode got involved. Unicode, which sets international technical standards for supporting different languages, undertook the task of standardizing emoji in 2010 at the request of technology companies such as Apple and Google.

There are now very clear guidelines for new emoji and user submissions, but in the early days of Unicode emoji standardization, some more questionable options were allowed, including the middle-finger character.

Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge told CNN Business: โ€œThere are a lot of rules today, they are pretty well documented, and new emoji go through a very rigorous process.โ€

Apple added an official emoji keyboard available outside of Japan in 2011. This is a milestone that emoji experts believe is the true entry point for letters into American online dictionaries. By 2015, the tearful face emoji (๐Ÿ˜‚) was the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year. The emoji remains popular among US users, according to an Adobe study released this month.

โ€œBeing able to include 3,000 or so small photos at the touch of a finger is like adding another 3,000 bits of punctuation,โ€ says Burge. “So I guess I could have gotten by without it, but I don’t know why I would choose to live in a world without emojis.”

The future of emoji

Even 3000 might not be enough. Emojis evolve just as languages โ€‹โ€‹evolve.

Unicode publishes an updated emoji set every September after reviewing submitted proposals and responding to global trends. Version 15.0.0, released on Tuesday, added 20 emojis, including hair picks, maracas, and jellyfish. (Emoji updates are rolling out gradually across devices.)

But Unicode has also faced long-standing criticism that previous emoji sets lacked representation of race, gender, sexuality, and disability, and 2015’s Emoji 2.0 introduced five skin tone options. was released, and Emoji 4.0 in 2016 released two gender options for occupations. According to Emojipedia. In 2019 we added accessibility emojis and couple options including gender.

The consortium relies on subcommittee members and emoji users to move the keyboard forward. Daniel, the first woman to run her Emoji Subcommittee for Unicode and a designer at Google, is a champion of more inclusive emoji. She has promoted inclusive design adoption across the company so that genderless police officers sent from Samsung devices are not perceived as police officers by Apple users.

There are now thousands of emoji options, but the primary usage remains true to its original goal 40 years ago to add smiles and lightheartedness. Emojipedia Editor-in-Chief Keith Broni told CNN Business:

As for Fahlmann, he uses emojis “very rarely”. Most of the time he said, “He prefers small texts, partly because it’s my baby.”

Fahlman continues to work as Professor Emeritus at Carnegie Mellon University, where he studies artificial intelligence and its applications, while lecturing around the world on his emoticon creation, and a continuing interest in emoticons. is aware of “I agreed with the fact that this would be the first sentence of my resignation letter, whatever my achievements in artificial intelligence,” he said. you know.”

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