AI News, Humanoid Robot KOBIAN Learning to Be a Comedian

Humanoid Robot KOBIAN Learning to Be a Comedian

In order to achieve a robot's behavior for making humans laugh based on these methods, we studied 6 books[16-21] in which the methods for comedy and the ways for funny conversations are gathered comprehensively.

Be warned: a lot of the humor here is translated (ish) from Japanese, and/or based on people or skits that are famous in Japan, making it simultaneously incomprehensible to most of us and way funnier than it might be otherwise:

The researchers recruited volunteers to determine if they found KOBIAN funny, wiring them up with EMG sensors and accelerometers and pointing video cameras to their faces to detect smiling and laugher.

The results show that the mood of the volunteers seems to have improved after watching KOBIAN, as indicated by POMS scores associated with negative feelings like stress and anger, which the researchers say 'significantly decreased.'

They also want to examine 'the effect of embodiment of the robot to the reaction of the subjects, and to feedback the humans' laugh reaction to the robot to achieve the interaction between a robot and a human through laughing.'

Joke-Telling Robots Are the Final Frontier of Artificial Intelligence

And yet this simplistic style of joke-telling is the perfect jumping off point for one of the most exciting and ambitious efforts in the artificial intelligence research community: the quest to develop funny robots.

Rather, AI researchers are working to create robots and computers that are in on the joke, able to detect various shades of wit from their human companions, and to fire back in turn with their own wisecracks.

Humor requires mastery of sophisticated functions like self-awareness, empathy, spontaneity, and linguistic subtlety We have clearly been psyching ourselves up for joke-compatible computers for a long time, so it's no wonder that real AI researchers are on the case.

Despite our best efforts to explain the mysterious evolution and prominence of humor across every human culture, the core mechanisms behind it still remain elusive (as Bender would put it: 'your best is an idiot').

There are already plenty of artificial joke generators out there that can tackle these lower forms of wit, from the Double Entendre via Noun Transfer (DEviaNT) program, which tells 'that's what she said' jokes, to LIBJOB, which generates light bulb jokes.

Likewise, this standup performance of a Nao robot named Data, accompanied by roboticist Heather Knight, evokes an uncanny valley sense of humor (Data's set begins at the three minute mark).

Robots are already pioneering their own comedic stylings My point here is that computers and robots are already pioneering their own comedic stylings, as an accidental byproduct of learning the fundamentals of humor in humans.

'An interconnected digital humor system would be able to access vast, flexible databases of verbal and nonverbal comedy and have parameters to help them determine the who/what/when/where of being successfully amusing.'

'They also have performance abilities that are beyond human expression, such as extreme changes of the pitch and speed of their voice, and they can make the sounds of a trumpet or a trout, or spit out famous quotes in the voice of that famous person,' he added.

'Some people think that if we have high enough computer power, we'll be able to track all the data that is available online, and come closer to an understanding of language for humor detection and generation.

'I'm not sure that we'll know when a computer achieves humor perfectly,' she cautioned, 'but probably when it's capable of generating responses to situational humor rather than getting information from familiar jokes.

'If gamers within a specific gaming circle were given the ability to make their own comic adaptations to situations and share them with others, their preferences could be monitored and you could achieve an evolving comic nature within the game,' he explained.

If new options of visual and verbal humor were continuously rolled out and used in combination with played controlled adaptations you could create something pretty amazing (and amusing).'

It's hard to predict exactly how much work will be needed to endow robots with such sophisticated comedy chops, or what kind of timeframe we should expect before games can adapt to every player's unique sense of humor.

But given that many of us have already exchanged some solid banter with Siri, it seems likely that computational humor will continue to burst free from the rigid frameworks of puns, double entendres, and other formulaic joke formats over the coming years.

Robot comedian stands up well against human rivals

This humanoid robot, made by British company Engineered Arts, has the size and basic form of a tall, athletic man but is very obviously a machine:

its glossy white face and torso taper into a wiry waist and legs, its eyes are square video screens and its cheeks glow with artificial light.

The researchers will use this information to quantify our reactions to Robothespian’s performance and to compare them with our responses to two seasoned human comics – Andrew O’Neill and Tiernan Douieb – who performed before the robot.

The routine I saw was completely pre-programmed, right down to the timing and delivery of the jokes, although Robothespian has also done one in which he read the same script but modified his delivery in response to the audience’s reactions.

When the humans take to the stage, there’s an initial tension that grips me – an intense hope that they won’t disappoint – and it’s missing with Robothespian.

On this occasion, people are too polite to talk back to him, but his human counterparts don’t fancy his chances of managing the audience comments that they have deal with in a bar or comedy club.

O’Neill and Douieb envy Robothespian’s instant character and context, which they say is comedy gold as it both puts the audience at ease and give the performance a context.

Data uses artificial intelligence to select from different joke genres depending on the audience response, which is monitored with sensors a bit like those used in Robothespian’s performance.

Initial results from the performances last week already suggest that – as fleshly comics know – timing is key to tapping your audience’s funny bone.

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