Do we want our robots to be funny?

ISLIKE is a joke-writing robot that makes analogies between things, and visitors help decide which analogies are most successful.

Humor is thought to be the final frontier of AI development, as the science behind what makes us laugh isn’t widely understood. Creating jokes or even humorous conversational quips requires deep knowledge of the world and social norms.


What if we trained an AI on an encyclopedia, the news, and a slew of advice columns. Could it come up with jokes that are actually funny?


Experiment starts 2019.


ISLIKE will attempt to make humorous analogies—a proven joke framework that comedians lean on for laughs.

Analogies bring together two opposites to make an unlikely comparison we’ve never thought of before. Given the difficulty of crafting a humorous analogy, ISLIKE might not make us laugh a large percentage of the time, but what will that teach us about our uniquely human brains and the function of humor in our social relationships?

Ultimately, underlying questions may emerge: What is funny? Do we want our robots to be funny? Will joke-cracking be an unsettling or a welcome trait in an AI?