An Artificial Intelligence is Taught to Tell Jokes, and the Results are Almost Funny
Case in point: The Headlinertron, an artificially intelligent comedian set up by human comedian C.J. Hernandez. A product of machine learning and the online program Botnik, The Headlinertron was shown several hours of standup comedy specials, from performers like Dave Chappelle, John Mulaney, Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, etc. and then told to write its own jokes based on that.
As you can imagine, The Headlinertron became very good at forming sentences that sound quite a bit like jokes, but which are devoid of much meaning or go completely off the rails as the AI attempts to understand topics that it learned about from comedians. Either way, it's funny in a way that Headlinertron probably wasn't intending.
See some of The Headlinertron's comedic stylings below:
We got a daughter now... she's three years old and I think maybe she hates us. She said that she will kill people when Jesus comes back to work. I don't know what to do about it. Kids have fun so easily, you know what I mean?— THE HEADLINERTRON (@HEADLINERTRON) May 21, 2018
I remember the first time I saw a homeless baby. It was legit a baby. Visually it was, but he grew up on the street and you saw a man in his eyes. A big ol' man.— THE HEADLINERTRON (@HEADLINERTRON) May 20, 2018
I hate men. Men are going downhill at a 45-degree angle. Maybe there's a couple of us would agree. [ audience applauding ] You better stop that.— THE HEADLINERTRON (@HEADLINERTRON) May 18, 2018
I'm a virgin of the night. That's like a normal virgin but I'm a bad person too. You know how people are like: "Look at the facts?" That's completely me.— THE HEADLINERTRON (@HEADLINERTRON) May 18, 2018
You ever been punched in the nose? Oh my god it's the only story I have. I was punched in the nose with a sombrero and thought, "This is because of the election".— THE HEADLINERTRON (@HEADLINERTRON) May 15, 2018
According to Motherboard, most of these are initially produced without punctuation on Botnik, before Hernandez cleans it up a little and schedules it for Twitter. So it's not a true Twitter bot, but there's no human writing any of those "jokes".
It also helps that Botnik is specifically geared toward fun projects like this, analyzing entertainment so it can serve as a predictive text generator for certain subjects. To see other examples of Botnik in action, try reading a scene from Scrubs written by Botnik after receiving lots of scripts from the show.
This is far from the first time that AI programs tried their digital hands at creative endeavors. To read some machine artwork that's even less coherent than Headlinertron, there's also Christmas carols and Valentine's messages written by androids-turned-artists.