A practical application of computational humour

Graeme D Ritchie, Ruli Manurung, Helen Pain, Annalu Waller, Rolf Black, Dave O'Mara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

31 Citations (Scopus)


The past 15 years has seen the development of a number of programs which perform tasks in the area of humour, but these have been exploratory research prototypes, usually on a very small scale, and none of them interacted with users. Amongst those which actually created humorous texts, the JAPE program was probably the most substantial, but even it was far from being useful for any practical purpose. We have developed a fully engineered riddle generator, inspired by the ideas in the JAPE system, which uses a large-scale multimedia lexicon and a set of symbolic rules to generate jokes. It has an interactive user interface, specially designed for children with complex communication needs (CCN), so that users can make choices to guide the riddle generator. The software is robust, stable, and responds sufficiently promptly that naive users can interact without difficulty. It has been tested over with real users (children with CCN), with highly positive results, and is publicly available for free download.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Fourth International Joint Conference on Computational Creativity (Goldsmith's, London)
EditorsAmilcar Cardoso, Geraint A. Wiggins
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • computational humour
  • riddles
  • joke generation
  • AAC


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