• Gabriella Garcia

RWET final: ApoliPology

The public apology is a complex phenomenon: though regularly demanded, it is rarely believed. Used as a political tool the public apology can be a weapon, demanded in order to place the "offending party" in a place of defense or submission since the only thing worse than an insincere apology is a refusal to apologize. So the apology becomes a "damned if you do or don't" scenario; it's one of those linguistic gestures that requires action over time to truly merit any trust, holding no water until the words are crystalized by the exhibition of pronounced remorse or punishment.


I've chosen to explore this gesture for my final... what does an apology mean when it's been convoluted by hubris or reputation? What does it mean when we loan someone our faith knowing that they may never even have apologized except for the fact that they were caught, or it was demanded, or that there may never even be a way to prove that they will experience remorse at all?


The Small Corpus of English Political Apologies

I discovered SCEPA after many attempts to scrape apologies from other sources. I started with Twitter, but between the genuine expressions of remorse and the "hashtag-sorry-not-sorries" I found the source material far too broad to construct a controllable output for. I moved toward using the New York Times API, hoping to scrape articles and quotes featuring the public apology, but this too proved a difficult task. I chose the Small Corpus of English Political Apologies as it presents a diverse but specified selection of linguistic text: there is so much the political figurehead has had to apologize for, but the framework is fairly predictable.


Goals

I had two goals: first, to see if I could generate a public apology using corpus text, and second, to convolute the text of a public political apology until it became as meaningless as the gesture without evidence. My performance centers around the idea that, even when reduced to nonsense, say enough of the right words with the right delivery and the speech will read as a concession. I'm hoping this delivery highlights the emptiness of the jargon, that the wording can be easily replaced, and that the figurehead is generally acting in response to a threat on their reputation, not toward a change in behavior or opinion.


Process

A lot of the poetry in my final result is buried in the process. Results are messy, and are the face of how I asked for specific outputs underneath the surface. For instance, after parsing the original text, I used textgenrnn to train a text prediction model based on the original apologies. Then I created a new list of apologetic outputs based on that model, and then ran a semantic similarity search on *that* model using inputs based on what we're looking for in the apology as constituents. In my case, those inputs were "responsibility" and "we won't forget."


Curated Output

I really want to refine my process toward perfection, but in the meantime I found that I had to really pick and choose my generated outputs. Below are a number of selections, with all apologetic statements chosen randomly each time, which is like rolling six dice and only a very specific pattern executing a win. So I'm happy that I was able to generate some good outputs relatively regularly, but also want to work toward making a more reliable model.

ApoliPology

The King said he's sorry:

He said: Do we lash out with anger, hate and mistrust?


Or was it: I apologize for the family.


The King said he's sorry. The King said he's sorry.

He said: ""I do know what happened with Still in it. He said: We learned in those empty, I hope we mean to sign, it has justice, and, most history, the Class Commissioner to one another whole for which I had insensitive victims and experience trageduaining me.


Isn't it clear? His patronising fear? His sarcastic reason?

He said: I am committed to see it will never have been a press to encourage the face of the past and many of you.


He means: I apologize for that.

Do you believe him?


the law commitment the commitment the leadership the leadership the respect all the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences


==

The King said he's sorry:

He said: ""The other day I made a statement that I would put my needs above others in crisis," "I'm ashamed of my comments.


Or was it: "I apologize to the people of my comments that were some of the fact that I was sorry for the community of the past the expectations and the many of the past things and all the responsibility for the many of you and the people of the people was a decision to continue to make a particular community


The King said he's sorry. The King said he's sorry.

He said: They are he becomedic and possibly strong to lost and I and do not since I despite the organite cultures that have cared paraded, or resolationate issues. He said: Not sincerely apologize by this morning."


Isn't it clear? His noncommittal reason? His snobbish pitty?

He said: and then we say why they were in the consequences of the people of earth.


He means: I apologize to the public, whom I promised better.First, please let me apologize to my family, friends, staff and fellow humans for the cloud placed over this community.

Do you believe him?


the law commitment the commitment the leadership the leadership the respect all the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences


==

The King said he's sorry:

He said: Can we be strong?


Or was it: I apologize for the man and I apologize for the statement to the comments of the families and it was including the state of the past things of any offence and a community and the law of the country is a mistake.


The King said he's sorry. The King said he's sorry.

He said: Not sincerely apologize by this morning." He said: Again, this was hampended to say for all my production for the conflict to the place of what you keep becamilege.


Isn't it clear? His curt disgust? His patronising disappointment?

He said: I am not going to be rejected.


He means: I apologize for that.

Do you believe him?


the law commitment the commitment the leadership the leadership the respect all the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences


==

The King said he's sorry:

He said: This was a mistake.


Or was it: I want to apologize for any respect for the community of the House of Send," "I want to apologize for my family, the people was a lot of the responsibility for my family and I am sorry.


The King said he's sorry. The King said he's sorry.

He said: Peoped, . I have done that, but so many ofth.Ina apologize both the most eysters of leadence of a previous brief, as we refect you that should have been used to one wroted earth. He said: Again, this was hampended to say for all my production for the conflict to the place of what you keep becamilege.


Isn't it clear? His sardonic nothing? His curt disappointments?

He said: I am not retreated the past and insensitive and the mistake is sorry.


He means: I apologize for my hurtful remarks when so many others are feeling the pain of Washington's dysfunction."

Do you believe him?


the law commitment the commitment the leadership the leadership the respect all the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences the consequences


Git: https://github.com/medusamachina/rwet-2019-projects/blob/master/RWET_Final_Apolipology.ipynb


© 2020 Gabriella Garcia