Machine humour: examples from Turing test experiments

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In this paper, we look at the possibility of a machine having a sense of humour. In particular, we focus on actual machine utterances in Turing test discourses. In doing so, we do not consider the Turing test in depth and what this might mean for humanity, rather we merely look at cases in conversations when the output from a machine can be considered to be humorous. We link such outpourings with Turing’s “arguments from various disabilities” used against the concept of a machine being able to think, taken from his seminal work of 1950. Finally we consider the role that humour might play in adding to the deception, integral to the Turing test, that a machine in practice appears to be a human.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-561
JournalAI & Society
Issue number4
Early online date7 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

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  • Deception detection
  • Natural language
  • Turing’s imitation game
  • Chatbots
  • Machine humour


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