Are You Funnier Than A Computer?

Last month I wrote about how laughter can make us feel invincible. When we are laughing, our brains are distracted, our bodies are aroused and pain just doesn’t seem as, well, painful.

Humor is great, but what makes me laugh might not be the same thing that makes you laugh. Comedy is subjective. All jokes aren’t created equal.

Unless they are created by a computer…

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom created computer software that can create a joke from scratch. Appropriately named The Joking Computer, this invention builds jokes by using a dictionary and a small collection of rules.

With a few clicks of a mouse, you can construct a joke out of thin air. You can choose a certain type of joke, such as “What is the difference between…” Or you can choose a joke about a specific subject like sports or travel.

Can a computer really create jokes just by throwing together a few words from a dictionary? In order to find out, I decided to take The Joking Computer for a spin. Here are a few of the jokes it created for me:

What kind of a score is running? — A hat track.”


What kind of a calcium sulphate is a boom box? –A ghetto plaster.”


Why is a correct interruption different from a smart tool?– One is a right break, the other is a bright rake.”


What do you call a European that has a Scotland? –A great briton.”

All in all, I created about a dozen jokes. Some made me chuckle. Some just confused me. I give The Joking Computer an A for effort, but I don’t think I would rush right out and buy tickets if the computer at a show at the Improv.

What to see what jokes The Joking Computer will create for you. Try it out here and let me if you come up with any funny ones.



Photo credit: Wikipedia

  • Aaron Thuringer

    You won’t be laughing when this computer tries to write its own Maury C Moose book

    • Adam

      I think you are on to something. A children’s book completely written by the Joking Computer would be a best seller.