Computers Try to Tell Jokes

Computers are capable of many impressive feats, but making you laugh is usually not one of them. Or could it be? This episode will talk about a custom-built machine learning algorithm that searches through text and writes jokes based on what it finds. 

The jokes are formulaic: they're all of the form "I like my X like I like my Y: Z" where X and Y are nouns, and Z is an adjective that can describe both X and Y. For (dumb) example, "I like my men like I like my coffee: steaming hot." The joke is funny when ZX and ZY are both very common phrases, but X and Y are rarely seen together. 

So, given a large enough corpus of text, the algorithm looks for triplets of words that fit this description and writes jokes based on them. Are the jokes funny? You be the judge...

Link: Petrovic and Matthews: Unsupervised joke generation from big data