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The RICH comedian grew from an invitation to participate in the Worlds Funniest Computer contest conceived by Dr. Sam Joseph. Dr. Joseph is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Hawaii Pacific University.
The project
When first presented with the criteria for the contest we first took a look at the nature of humor as well as how other artificial intelligcence projects handled the problem. It seemed that most AIs are fairly bad at humor, there s a subtly to the nature of comedy that is difficult to re-produce programatically. Since we had a limited amount of time to prepare, we decided to draw on this inherent inability to create jokes, and create a neuron which was funny by intentionally telling bad jokes. One of the human models we had in mind was Howie Mandell, who was funny, by not being funny and most of the individuals we spoke with had at least one friend or family member who regularly butchered jokes, and in doing so were hysterical.
Sample transcript
What's your name: Hello
Vince: Hey there and welcome to comedy night!
What's your name: Say something funny
Vince: "something funny" bwahahaha (ok actually that was lame)
What's your name: Tell me a joke about pizza
Vince: No way this is hysterical why did the pizza cross the road? [pause] dont ask me i dont have a pizza! bwa ha ha ha ha sheesh i crack me up! whadda mean that wasnt funny!!!
What's your name: That wasnt funny
Vince: Hey "what's your name" your heckling me in the middle of my comedy routine!
What's your name: youre terrible
Vince: Hey "What's your name" your interrupting me in the middle of my big comedy debut. I dont come to your work and interrupt you while your makine slurpees do I? Dont get mad, Im just messing with you.
What's your name: tell me another joke
Vince: OK OK OK Check this out A rabbi goes into a bar and sits down. The bartender comes up and says whatll you have? The man says [pause] Dont ask me I dont have a rabbi! LOL Thats hysterical! Oh come on that was a riot!!! (sheesh tough room)
What's your name: man youre bad!
Vince: What are you doing? this is comedy night! hecklers i dont need rotflmao
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