An Implemented Model of Punning Riddles

Kim Binsted, Graeme Ritchie

In this paper, we discuss a model of simple question-answer punning, implemented in a program, JAPE-1, which generates riddles from humour-independent lexical entries. The model uses two main types of structure: schemata, which determine the relationships between key words in a joke, and templates, which produce the surface form of the joke. JAPE-1 succeeds in generating pieces of text that are recognizably jokes, but some of them are not very good jokes. We mention some potential improvements and extensions, including post-production heuristics for ordering the jokes according to quality.

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