Will AI ever be able to make a joke?
Not too long ago I made a post that simplified what AI is for people who are not so acquainted with tech. If you missed it, it’s here (also a locked post). This is a step further in the discourse.
There is too much hype about the future with a fully developed AI. It is said that AI will transform work as we know it. I agree with that wholeheartedly! What I disagree with is the way they say it will make people redundant. If we designed a system to make our lives easier, better, more efficient and more productive, how could we possibly be on the losing end of it? I’ll write a discourse about the future of work later, but today I want to begin with something that remains a mystery in the development of AI. You won’t believe it — jokes! AI still can’t make jokes by itself.
There was an incident last year on Good Morning Britain where a robot made a joke (see it here). But you can tell it was premeditated. And of course, they had to stay in a particular line of questions for the system to keep flowing. But seriously, why can’t AI make a joke? I believe the answer is just as simple; because it is AI! From the post tagged earlier, I explained in a very simple manner AI, machine learning, deep learning, big data. The system learns to think from data. It is based on the trends and patterns from the data that the AI makes decisions. The decisions have to be logical and defined. AI is just basically an efficient decision making machine. It is can be taught to think but it cannot create thought beyond the patterns and trends from the data it receives.
The big problem of stuff like comedy and jokes is how to explain it to the system. It is not a logical end result. Telling the system a bunch of jokes and telling the system to find the patterns is a dead end. Many times what constitute jokes to us are things from our experience that we can relate to in a particular way. If we cannot teach the system the experience of laughter, then to make a joke is a mirage. Also, audiences matter when it comes to jokes. What’s funny to a group of people is most likely not as funny to another group that has a different life experience. The AI cannot get the joke if it has not experienced the life. And it cannot experience the life…