June 7th, 2021, 9.00 AM EST - 5.00 PM EST, Full-day Online Meeting

Emoji

4th​ International Workshop on Emoji Understanding and Applications in Social Media
Co-located with The 15th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM)

OVERVIEW

Pictographs, commonly referred to as "emoji", have become a popular way to enhance electronic communication. With their introduction in the late 1990's, emoji have been widely used to enhance the sentiment, emotion, and sarcasm expressed in social media messages. They often play distinct social and communicative roles compared to other forms of written language while taking over language constructs such as slang terms and emoticons. The ability to automatically process, derive meaning and interpret text fused with emoji will be essential as society embraces emoji as a standard form of online communication. Yet the pictorial nature of emoji, the fact that (the same) emoji may be used in different contexts to express different meanings, and that emoji are used in different cultures and communities over the world who interpret emoji differently, make it especially difficult to apply traditional Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to analyze them. To meet these challenges, Emoji aims to stimulate research on understanding social, cultural, communicative, and linguistic roles of emoji and developing novel computational approaches to analyze, interpret and understand emoji and their usage in social media applications. It will provide a forum to bring together researchers and practitioners from both academia and industry in the areas of computer science, social network analysis and mining, natural language processing, computational linguistics, human-computer interaction, and computational social sciences to discuss high-quality research and emerging applications, to exchange ideas and experience, and to identify new opportunities for collaboration.

Emoji is the 4th of a series of emoji understanding workshops conducted by the organizers. The 1st emoji understanding workshop, Emoji, was the best-attended workshop at ICWSM 2018 (with 35 attendees) that was extended from a half-day to a full-day due to the quality and quantity of submissions received and the expressed interest. It attracted 18 submissions, including 14 long papers and 4 short papers. A total of 8 papers (6 long papers and 2 short papers) were accepted for the final workshop program and it also included a keynote presentation, a tutorial, and a highly interdisciplinary panel on "The Challenges in Emoji Understanding" that provided an animated and engaging forum to the attendees to discuss the open emoji research problems with leading researchers and practitioners. The workshop program was covered in a WIRED.com article which can be accessed online at https://www.wired.com/story/academic-emoji-conference/. The second emoji understanding workshop, Emoji, was co-located with The Web Conference 2019 (formerly, The World Wide Web Conference). It attracted 11 submissions, including 7 full papers and 4 short papers, out of which, 6 papers were accepted for presentation. The workshop program also consisted of a keynote presentation and three invited talks. The workshop ran for a half-day and attracted more than 40 participants. The third emoji understanding workshop, Emoji, was co-located with ICWSM 2020. It attracted 63 registered participants where Emojination and Adobe Inc. sponsored twenty of them with their workshop registration fees. The workshop program consisted of a keynote speech, an invited talk, and five research paper presentations. To minimize the effect of not having an opportunity to network in-person due to the online nature of this workshop, an hour long virtual networking event was conducted at the end of the workshop which attracted lively participation.

IMPORTANT DATES

Paper Submission: April 10th, 2021 (23:59, anywhere on earth). EasyChair paper submission system is here.
Author Notification: April 30th, 2021.
Camera-ready Papers Due: May 7th, 2021.
Workshop Day: June 7th, 2021.


NEWS

02-04-2021: Emoji EasyChair paper submission system is online .
02-03-2021: Emoji Workshop Website is online .
01-30-2021: Emoji workshop was accepted at ICWSM 2021 .

CALL FOR PAPERS

With the rise of social media, emoji have become an extremely popular form of communication in social media. They are equally popular across major social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In 2018, Facebook reported that over 700 million messages with emoji are shared on their platform every day while over 900 million emoji are sent in Facebook Messenger without any text content every day. In the same year, Twitter reported that it processed 250 million emoji per month. In 2015, Instagram reported that nearly half of the photo comments posted on Instagram contain emoji and Instagram users tend to replace slang terms using emoji in photo comments. Another study revealed that emoji are slowly taking over emoticons on Twitter. Emoji data generated on social media sites have been utilized to study how emoji are used across different languages, cultures, user communities and as features to learn machine learning models to solve problems that span across many applications, including sentiment analysis, emotion analysis, and sarcasm detection. The ability to automatically process, derive meaning, and interpret text fused with emoji will be essential as society embraces emoji as a standard form of online communication. Thus, Emoji tries to bring together computer and social science researchers and practitioners from both academia and industry to discuss and exchange ideas on understanding social, cultural, communicative, and linguistic roles of emoji while leading the discussions on building novel computational methods to understand and interpret them.

Emoji is focused on research and discussions on challenges in emoji understanding, including but not limited to the following research directions.

  1. Challenges in interpreting the meaning of an emoji in a message context
  2. Novel methods for emoji sense disambiguation
  3. Novel methods for calculating emoji similarity
  4. Novel methods for emoji prediction
  5. Emoji-based retrieval and search
  6. Challenges in using emoji as a language
  7. Emoji’s effects on the evolution of language constructs used on social media such as emoticons and slang terms
  8. Common emoji usages in social media
  9. Cultural and community-specific emoji meaning evolution and interpretation
  10. Distinct social and communicative roles of emoji
  11. Understanding sender intention and receiver interpretation of emoji
  12. Emoji rendering and interface design challenges
  13. Applications of emoji in social media
  14. Emoji and the Law
  15. Emoji, Gender and Identity
  16. Research related to other pictorial representations such as emoticons, stickers, kaomoji, emotes, customized emoji (e.g., bitmoji), and animated gifs

We encourage submissions (full research papers, short papers, and demo proposals) that utilize quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods to approach the above challenges as contributions. For more information on how to prepare and submit papers including LaTeX templates, submission website etc., please check the paper submission instructions below.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

We invite regular technical papers (10 pages), short papers (4 pages), and demo proposals (2 page). Submissions must be original and should not have been published previously or be under consideration for publication while being evaluated for this workshop. Submissions will be evaluated by the program committee based on the quality of the work and its fit to the workshop themes. All submissions should be double-blind and use the AAAI two-column template for formatting. A high-resolution PDF of the paper should be uploaded to the EasyChair submission site before the paper submission deadline. More information on paper submission guidelines can be found here.

IMPORTANT DATES

Paper Submission: April 10th, 2021 (23:59, anywhere on earth). EasyChair paper submission system is here.
Author Notification: April 30th, 2021.
Camera-ready Papers Due: May 7th, 2021.
Workshop Day: June 7th, 2021.



ORGANIZATION

Organizing Committee

Program Committee

Website and Content Management

WORKSHOP PROGRAM


The final workshop program including all accepted papers is listed below. Please note that all times are in EST (Eastern Standard Time).

Time (EST)

Description

9.00 AM - 9.10 AM

Introduction

9.10 AM - 10.00 AM

Keynote - Emoji are Emoji, and We can use them as such
Speaker - Spencer Cappallo (Machine Learning Researcher, Replicant)

[Slides]


Spencer Cappallo
Machine Learning Researcher
Replicant

Emoji are new and unique. Straddling the line between language and image, they have carved out a new category for themselves. In this talk, I will argue that the novel behavior and representation of emoji usage warrants approaching them as a distinct information source. I will also present some studies into how emoji can be interpreted in their relationships to both image and text, as well as novel means of interaction and representation that emoji may facilitate.

10.00 AM - 10.20 AM

Semantic Journeys: Quantifying Change In Emoji Meaning From 2012-2018
Alexander Robertson, Farhana Ferdousi Liza, Dong Nguyen, Barbara McGillivray and Scott Hale
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

10.20 AM - 10.30 AM

Modeling Emoji Generation for Emotion Analysis of Social Media Short Texts
Sujatha Das Gollapalli and See-Kiong Ng
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

10.30 AM - 11.00 AM

Coffee Break

11.00 AM - 11.20 AM

Are Emoji a Language?
Invited Talk by Neil Cohn, Professor, Department of Communication and Cognition, Tilburg University

11.20 AM - 11.40 AM

An Iconic Language Beyond Emoji: The KomunIKON Project
Invited Talk by Cesco Reale, Founder, KomunIKON Project
[Abstract] | [Slides]

11.40 AM - 12.00 PM

The Use of the "Face with Tears of Joy" Emoji on WhatsApp: A Conversation-Analytical Approach
Agnese Sampietro
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

12.00 PM - 12.20 PM

The Shadowy Lives of Emojis: An Analysis of a Hacktivist Collective’s Use of Emojis on Twitter
Keenan Jones, Jason Nurse and Shujun Li
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

12.20 PM - 12.30 PM

Identity Signals in Emoji do not Influence Perception of Factual Truth on Twitter
Alexander Robertson, Walid Magdy and Sharon Goldwater
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

12.30 PM - 12.50 PM

Examining Emoji Color Spaces: A Strategy for Improving the Coverage of Heart Emoji
Invited Talk by Jennifer Daniel, Chair of The Unicode Emoji Subcommittee and Creative Directory (Emoji), Google
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

12.50 PM - 2.00 PM

Lunch Break

2.00 PM - 2.50 PM

Panel Discussion on Picto Languages
Panelists - Susan C. Herring (Professor, Indiana University, Bloomington), Cesco Reale (Founder, KomunIKON Project), Neil Cohn (Professor, Tilburg University)
Moderator - Horacio Saggion (Professor, Pompeu Fabra University)


Horacio Saggion
Moderator
 
Susan C. Herring
Panelist

Cesco Reale
Panelist

Neil Cohn
Panelist

2.50 PM - 3.10 PM

Emojis and Words Work Together in the Service of Communication
Laurie Feldman, Eliza Barach, Vidhushini Srinivasan and Samira Shaikh
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

3.10 PM - 3.30 PM

"MEOW! Okay, I shouldn’t have done that": Factors Influencing Playful Vocal Performance through Animoji
Susan Herring, Ashley Dainas and Ying Tang
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

3.30 PM - 3.50 PM

Coffee Break

3.50 PM - 4.00 PM

The Past and Future of Hand Emoji
Lauren Gawne and Jennifer Daniel
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

4.00 PM - 4.50 PM

Keynote - The "Emoji as Language" Question Revisited
Speaker - Susan C. Herring (Professor, Indiana University, Bloomington)

[Slides]


Susan C. Herring
Professor
Indiana University, Bloomington

There is considerable disagreement as to whether emoji constitute a language and, if so, what kind of language it is and whether it is ‘universal.’ Arguments have been made for and against emoji as an actual language based on semantic, pragmatic, and syntactic evidence (e.g., Danesi, 2016; Cohn et al., 2019; Herring & Ge, 2020; Tatman, 2017), as well as emojis’ ostensible (lack of) generativity, standardization, completeness, and interpretability (Cohn, 2015; Dürscheid & Siever, 2017; Gawne & McCulloch, 2019; Miller et al., 2016). In this talk, I revisit and evaluate the arguments on both sides of the ‘emoji as language’ question. Rather than taking a position for or against, however, I propose that emoji exhibit varying degrees of “languageness” in different (sub)cultures, on different platforms, and at different points in time, and I illustrate this proposition through a comparison of emoji use in Asia and the West. I conclude by suggesting explanations for why emoji, but not other kinds of graphical icons, might develop language-like characteristics, and lay out two possible scenarios as regards the future of emoji as language.

4.50 PM - 5.00PM

Closing Remarks

WORKSHOP REGISTRATION


Emoji workshop will be held on the 7th of June 2021, from 9.00 AM EST to 5.00 PM EST as an online meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All registered participants will be sent a meeting invitation to join the workshop remotely. You can register for the workshop here (Regular - $45, Student - $25).

PREVIOUS WORKSHOPS


Below, we provide links to proceedings of the previous runs of this emoji workshop.

Previous Runs of the Emoji Workshop

  1. The 1st emoji workshop, titled Emoji, was held in conjunction with with The 12​th​ International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM-18). The workshop attracted more than 35 attendees representing many disciplines. The workshop program included a keynote, a tutorial, a total of 8 paper presentations (6 long papers and 2 short papers), and a panel discussion which lead by leading researchers and practitioners. The workshop proceedings are available at http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-2130/.

  2. The 2nd emoji workshop, titled Emoji, was held in conjunction with with The Web Conference 2019 (formerly, The World Wide Web Conference). The workshop attracted more than 40 attendees representing many disciplines. The workshop program included a keynote, a total of 9 paper presentations (5 long papers and 1 short papers) including 3 invited talks from the leading researchers in the industry and academia. The workshop proceedings are available here.

  3. The 3rd emoji workshop, titled Emoji, was held online in conjunction with with The 14​th​ International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM-20). The workshop attracted more than 60 attendees representing many disciplines. The workshop program included a keynote, a total of 6 paper presentations (4 long papers and 1 short papers) including 1 invited talk and an optional networking session. The workshop proceedings are available here.

SPONSORS


We are extremely thankful for Adobe for partnering with Emojination to sponsoring the Emoji workshop this year.