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Comedy Club Performances Provide Insights on How Robots, Humans Connect via Humor

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Oregon State University's Naomi Fitter, with the robot comedian.

Oregon State University researchers performed two studies to evaluate a robot comedian's performance at comedy clubs.

Credit: Oregon State University

Two studies by Oregon State University (OSU) researchers evaluated a robot comedian's performance at comedy clubs to gather data to enable more effective robot-human interplay through humor.

Human comics helped develop material used by John the Robot in 22 performances in Los Angeles and 10 in Oregon.

The Los Angeles study concluded that audiences found a robot comic with good timing to be much funnier than one without good timing.

The Oregon study found that an "adaptive performance"—delivering post-joke "tags" that acknowledge an audience's response—was not necessarily funnier overall, but nearly always improved audience perception of individual jokes.

OSU's Naomi Fitter said the research has implications for artificial intelligence projects to understand group responses to entertaining social robots in the real world.

From Oregon State University News
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