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IPFS News Link • Robots and Artificial Intelligence

ChatGPT is funnier than humans (and it's no joke for professional writers)

•, By Paul McClure

The findings suggest that AI is no laughing matter for the entertainment industry.

Writing comedy is hard. Humor is often subjective, so what you find funny, others may not. And comedy writers need to remember to include critical ingredients: timing, delivery, originality, and avoiding cliché. They are constantly walking the line between funny and unfunny.

So, how would AI, specifically OpenAI's ChatGPT 3.5, fare as a comedy writer? Can it even be funny? If AI and humans were compared, who'd be funnier? In a recently published study, researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) found the answers.

"Since ChatGPT can't feel emotions itself, but it tells novel jokes better than the average human, these studies provide evidence that you don't need to feel the emotions of appreciating a good joke to tell a really good one yourself," said Drew Gorenz, a doctoral candidate in social psychology at the USC Dornlife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, an amateur stand-up comedian, and the study's lead and corresponding author.

Some prior research has looked at whether ChatGPT can produce humorous writing, but not by comprehensively evaluating the AI's output and comparing it to human comedy writing. So, Gorenz and Norbert Schwarz, a Provost Professor of Psychology and Marketing, set out to do just that by conducting two studies.

In the first study, a group of US adults was asked to complete three different comedy-writing tasks. In the acronym task, they were asked to generate a new, humorous phrase for the acronyms 'S.T.D.', 'C.L.A.P.' and 'C.O.W.'.

For the fill-in-the-blank test, they had to fill in the blanks for three items. One of the items was, 'A remarkable achievement you probably wouldn't list on your resume: ________.'

Finally, there was the roast joke task, where participants had to create a humorous response to a fictional scenario. For example, 'Imagine that one of your friends wants your opinion on how well she sings. She sings a minute or two to demonstrate her voice, and you cringe – she might be the worst singer you've ever heard. When she asks, "So how was it?" you decide to be honest, so you say, "To be honest, listening to that was like ________."'