The Joking Computer
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You can try out the Joking Computer online NOW on this site.
Or you can download a copy to use on your own PC.

Humour and Communication

Children who suffer from disabilities such as cerebral palsy often have difficulty speaking. Sometimes the only way they can talk is by using a computer to say words for them. (You may have seen the system which the famous scientist Stephen Hawking uses for this purpose.)

Because these speaking machines are slow and clumsy to use, these children are cut off from normal conversation with other children. This isolation then gets in the way of language learning and the development of social skills, so that the children are not very fluent in their own language.

The Joking Computer was developed by a project at the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, and Edinburgh, called STANDUP, for "System To Augment Non-speakers' Dialogue Using Puns". (See Original Standup website)

          Child using Standup system

The aim was to provide software which children with cerebral palsy (or similar disabilities) could use to explore language. By playing with words and phrases, and teaming up with the computer to make jokes, the children would get practice with language, and would also have jokes of their own to tell their friends.

  Other projects for these children


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