Can Computers Create Humor?

  • Graeme Ritchie University of Aberdeen
Keywords: humor, language generation, computer-human interaction, language play


Despite the fact that AI has always been adventurous in trying to elucidate complex aspects of human behaviour, only recently has there been research into computational modelling of humor. One obstacle to progress is the lack of a precise and detailed theory of how humor operates. Nevertheless, since the early 1990s, there have been a number of small programs that create simple verbal humor, and more recently there have been studies of the automatic classification of the humorous status of texts. In addition, there are a number of advocates of the practical uses of computational humor: in user-interfaces, in education, and in advertising. Computer-generated humor is still quite basic, but it could be viewed as a form of exploratory creativity. For computational humor to improve, some hard problems in AI will have to be addressed.

Author Biography

Graeme Ritchie, University of Aberdeen
Natural Language Generation Group, Computing ScienceSenior Research Fellow