Did you ever think a computer could tell a joke? Or even have a sense of humor? Semantic technology continues to progress as two University of Washington researchers put their coding skills to the test. They developed a computer program that can identify whether a seemingly benign sentence might turn risqué if you add on “that’s what she said.”

This humorous but applicable topic was found on Seattle pi in their article, “That’s what she said: UW researchers develop joke-telling computer program.” It is no Michael Scott, but  developing a computer program with a sense of humor requires both deep semantic and cultural understanding.

According to researchers Chloé Kiddon and Yuriy Brun, “We worked on this project because we want to help computers understand human speech better.” Brun added, in an e-mail to seattlepi.com, “Computers today can understand some things humans say, but they have a hard time recognizing humor and sarcasm.”

Many have said that as amazing as IBM’s Watson was on Jeopardy, could it handle questions with irony or sarcasm interlaced? These researchers sought to find this answer as they created a system called Double Entendre via Noun Transfer, or DEviaNT. Read the article to learn more about their process and results. It is informative and entertaining.

Melody K. Smith

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