Researchers Taught a Robot to Laugh At Jokes to Make It More Human

By: | September 22nd, 2022

Worldwide scientists are working to make robots more human-like. Now, a group of scientists from Kyoto University is using artificial intelligence (AI) to teach a robot to laugh at jokes.

 It will help the robot enact humor, by laughing at the right place and at the right time. In other words, this robot will be able to differentiate between chuckles and rip-roaring squeals.

This laughing robot named Erica is trained to make conversations more natural when communicating with humans

“We think that one of the important functions of conversational AI is empathy,” said Dr. Koji Inoue of Kyoto University, the lead author of the research.

“So we decided that one way a robot can empathize with users is to share their laughter,” Inoue also added.

For evaluating Erica’s “sense of humor”, researchers examined four short two to three-minute dialogues between real people and Erica. Researchers found Erica performed very well. They observed that Erica did laugh, but not at all the jokes.

But the team feels there is more scope for improvement

Dr. Inoue said, “Robots should actually have a distinct character, and we think that they can show this through their conversational behaviours, such as laughing, eye gaze, gestures, and speaking style,” 

“We do not think this is an easy problem at all, and it may well take more than 10 to 20 years before we can finally have a casual chat with a robot like we would with a friend.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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