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This New Trigger-Warning Detector Could Be The Perfect Christmas Present

It’s the perfect way to silence your uncle after he’s had a few too many at Christmas lunch.

In what might well be the most 2021 story of the year, a new trigger-warning detector that sets off an alarm when it hears offensive speech is being unveiled at the Dubai Design Week. Which means that, yes, Fox News was right and free speech is dead and this is exactly what George Orwell was warning us about and this is exactly like 1984 and etc etc.

The mushroom-like device is called a Themis and its purpose is to moderate debate in classrooms and universities. It’s named after the Greek goddess of justice and social order, though conservatives would argue that it is named after the goddess of snowflakes.

Basically, it listens in on people’s conversations and if it detects any problematic language it sounds an alarm. It’s kind of like a fire alarm, except instead of detecting smoke it detects bad words. But, you are still strongly encouraged to stop, drop and roll out of the room if you hear something mean, which is the safest way to respond to offensive content whether it be in the workplace or a comedy club.

Zinah Issa, who unveiled the device in Dubai, told The Telegraph: “Through the use of speech recognition and sound sensors we were able to program Themis to detect offensive terms - racial slurs, offensive jokes - through the microphone.” Which sounds like the perfect Christmas gift because you can pop it on the table during lunch and let it do its thing whenever your drunk uncle (who spends all day watching Fox News) gets a bit too riled up about vaccine mandates, critical race theory and Greta Thunberg.

Issa added that once offensive language is detected, the device issues an alarm: “Extremely bothersome alarms last approximately two minutes, after which Themis turns off, allowing an open, understanding discussion among people on the possible trigger matter and the potential reasons behind Themis's activation.” Which is a pretty long time to be listening to an alarm. Presumably by the time it stops everyone’s ears will be ringing so badly that no one will be able to hear your uncle’s next offensive comment, which might very well be the intended effect.

The device is currently being trialled in classrooms and universities, and if you think it’s a sh*t idea, don’t say that too close to the Themis or it will sound the alarm.