Computer humour is no joke
We can all relate to computers making us angry, but very rarely can we say they make us laugh. Michael Meany from the School of Design, Communication and Information Technology recently placed third in a competition designed to do just this.
The Funniest Computer Ever Competition requires programmers to teach computers how to tell funny jokes through programming, ensuring that it can interact dynamically with human judges.
Coincidentally, Michael has been developing a pair of “chat bots” named Atomic and Romeo as part of his PhD which investigates the Development of Humour in Artificial Intelligence Agents. The chat bots act as a comedian and a feeder and perform a 26 line comedy sketch act when a user suggests a topic.
Creating the text-based conversational agents was no small feat and it has taken Michael years to develop and grow the interface. To date he has written 100 sketches but is still revising conversation logs to determine new topics to be developed.
The chat bots were tested in three areas of joke improvisation, humorous poetry and freestyle when asked a variety of questions by the judges. The responses from the chat bots determined the originality and interactivity of the text interface.
The competition organiser plans to run the contest every year until 2020 to compile enough entries to test against human stand-up comedians in front of a live audience.
For more information, please visit http://funniestcomputer.neurogrid.com/2012-competition
To interact with Michael’s chat bots, please visit http://aimlhumour.blogspot.com.au/