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 Studies

Although philosophers have thought about humour over several centuries, there has been a lot more work on humour in the past 100 years or so. The topic is tackled from many directions: linguistics, psychology, anthropology, sociology, neuroscience, literary studies, philosophy, and others.

We still don't know how humour works, and why it evolved. But we do have studies of how humour is used within society and across cultures, what kinds of jokes different people like, which parts of the brain are affected by various types of humour, and many other contributions to our understanding of this complicated puzzle.

Using computers to create humour is still not a big area of work, and some researchers think it is too early to be trying this. But the kind of rules which The Joking Computer uses are very precise, and it helps to sharpen up our thinking when we have to design precise rules. Having to put the ideas into a computer program forces us to stop being vague, and to get down to details.

Some outside links about humour

Laughter and the brain
The science of laugher
Laughlab: finding the world's funniest joke
How laughter works
Two videos about laughing topics
A collection of teaching materials about humour and language

 
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