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Codifying humanity: Can humor be reduced to an algorithm?

Codifying humanity: Can humor be reduced to an algorithm?

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Robots don’t have personalities, ideas, thoughts, or desires. Any human-like qualities we could attribute to a machine or its output are merely reflections of ourselves or its programmers.

That doesn’t sit well with the mainstream perceptions of AI. Thousands of articles promise a near-futu...

Most of what AI does is prestidigitation. That’s because there’s only a handful of things a typical deep learning system can actually do. Much like a real-world magician, developers create incredible programs out of some fairly basic algorithmic foundations.

The only differ...

A few years back, a former Microsoft intern named Nabil Hossain and a pair of Microsoft AI researchers developed a machine learning system to generate humorous headlines from existing news articles.

The big idea was that the AI would make microedits by changing a single word in a serious he...

The AI picks a noun or verb from a headline and replaces it with a word that can be objectively quantified as humorous.

So here’s the simple answer to the question of whether AI can be funny or not: If you get to define what is and isn’t funny, sure. AI can be just as funny as you decide it...

Jokes can be reduced to formulas. Just about anything can be reduced to a formula, but “funny” isn’t a thing. It’s a perception. Just like you can’t hand me an ounce of satisfaction or purchase a mile’s worth of courage, you can’t quantitatively produce funniness in a lab.

AI can’t be funny. Funny as interpreted by the recipient of a joke is subjective. And funny as an intended construct requires intent.

Just like fashion, being funny is as complex as the people you surround yourself with. What a group of AI devs might find funny or fashionable will likely di...

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