Monday, December 14, 2009

My God, It's Full of ... Puns

Just when I thought that there was no hope for artificial intelligence, my mind is blown by this. (h/t to PhysOrg) That's right: a computer that formulates and tells jokes, all based on that apex of humor, the pun. It is a little scattershot in its basic approach based on using Princeton's WordNet as a relational database / expert system (using the phonetic form to roughly judge whether two words sound similar. It seems to come up with some interesting results -- they remind me in some ways of the kinds of jokes five-year-olds tell. Some samples:

What do you call a cross between an emporium and a success?
A department score

What do you get when you cross a choice with a meal?
A pick-nic

And (possibly the best of the bunch)
Why is a bronzed handle different from a fringe benefit that is lordly ?
One is a tanned grip, the other is a grand tip

Oh my sides, they split.
(More here)

So, now we know how the inevitable robot armies intend to kill us all. I didn't think they'd be this cruel or ruthless, but I must now stop to wipe away a tear of pride. *wipe*

The software will eventually be available for download. I think that (with permission) this would actually be worth learning how to write iPhone apps.

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