[World Now] Forty already? The world’s first emoticon ‘:-)’

Professor Scott Palman and Emoticons

[40년 전 한 대학 게시판에 등장한 ‘:-)’]

CNN reported on the 19th that it is 40 years since the world’s first emoticon appeared online.

On September 19, 1982 at 11:44 am, a new chapter in online history was opened with the appearance of an emoticon ‘:-)’ which combines punctuation colons (:), hyphens (-), and brackets ()) on a board. the college bulletin.

Professor Scott Palman from the Department of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States posted ‘:-)’ expressing a smiling expression on the school’s online bulletin board where only text could be written.

The Guinness Book of Records called it “the first digital emoticon.”



Professor Palmen used emoticons to solve the problem of delivering jokes online, an issue that Internet users also struggle with.

“If someone among you (who has seen the post online) doesn’t understand the joke and reacts with anger and hostility, it can destroy the original discussion and leave only arguments,” said Professor Palmen.

He added, “In the age of text-only internet media, we couldn’t tell if it was a joke or not because we couldn’t tell the gestures or the facial expressions.”

[World Now]    Forty already?  The world's first emoticon ':-)'

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Over the next 40 years, emoticons have evolved into emojis, pictorial icons that represent facial expressions or objects, playing an important role in all forms of conversation, online and offline.

What started as a few texts on a university bulletin board has now spread as the main form of digital communication around the world.

Jennifer Daniel, chair of the Emoji Subcommittee of the Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organization that oversees the standardization of emojis, said of emojis, such as gestures, intonation and sound, “provide things that language does not say. What does this mean when people say ‘ok’?” It makes it clear what that means.”



The Unicode Consortium updates Unicode with new emojis every September after a thorough investigation to take into account global trends, and 20 additional emojis were recently announced this year.

However, the Unicode Consortium was criticized for its lack of consideration for race, gender, sexual orientation, and people with disabilities in its early emojis.

To solve this problem, the group released emojis in 2015 and 2016, each with five skin tones and employee genders, and added emojis related to people with disabilities in 2019.

Professor Palmen is still researching artificial intelligence (AI) and related applications as a professor emeritus at Carnegie Mellon University, but he also travels around the world giving lectures on the development of the first emoticons.

He said, “Whatever achievements I make in the field of AI, this will be the first line of my obituary.”

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