Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have created a robot comedian that can read a crowds reactions and adjust its performance accordingly.
The robot was developed by Pat Healey, professor of human interaction and head of the Cognitive Science Group at QMUL, and Kleomenis Katevas, a doctoral candidate.
The electronic comedian recently performed a set on the same night as human comedians Tiernan Douieb and Andrew O’Neill and Douieb even helped out, writing the robot comedians jokes.
While a robot is not likely to replace human counterparts, the computer based comedian did get some laughs. Here are a few of its jokes:
“I never really know how to start — which is probably because I run off Windows 8.”
“I once dated a Macbook. It didn’t work because she was all, “I this” and “I that.”
“I understand you like it when comedians complain. You know what really pushes my buttons? [points offstage] That guy who’s in control of me.”
The last joke didn’t get any laughs, likely because the robot comedian still needs to work on its comedic timing.
To gauge an audience’s reactions to its jokes, Katevas and Healey setup cameras around the room, which tracked the facial expressions and responses from people in the audience. Data collected from those cameras will be used to tweet the robot comedians software and make the gadget better at telling jokes.
There is already another robot comedian named Data, which is capable of reading an audiences reactions. Here’s a video of Data telling jokes during creator Heather Knights talk at TED:
Would you pay to watch a robot comedian, or is it impossible for a piece of hardware and software to match the comedic timing and feelings of a human counterpart?