Scientist Designs 'Bot with (Awful) Sense of Humor

Knock knock jokes that can make a robot chuckle

Humor's an integral part of social interaction; knock-knock jokes, well they're a start. As robotics has grown more complex over the years, a number of researchers have begun tackling the sociability part of the equation: No small matter if robots and humans are to someday regularly interact with one another.

Most recently, engineers at the University of Cincinnati developed a software program that "gets" jokes. Lame jokes, to be sure, but a nevertheless impressive step for artificial intelligence. By giving the program a basic level of English and training it to recognize homonyms, the developers created a 'bot that could search through its knowledge database and recognize something meant to be funny.

So, what does the robot like?
_
__Knock, Knock
Who is there?
Dismay
Dismay who?
Dismay not be a funny joke_

Could 'bots someday replace comedians? Seems unlikely, though frankly this one's already funnier than Gallagher—Abby Seiff

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