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Humour is a valid subject for research in artificial intelligence, as it is one of the more complex of human behaviours. Although philosophers and others have discussed humour for centuries, it is only very recently that computational work has begun in this field, so the state of the art is still rather basic. Much of the research has concentrated on humour expressed verbally, and there has been some emphasis on models based on “incongruity”. Actual implementations have involved puns of very limited forms. It is not clear that computerised jokes could enhance user interfaces in the near future, but there is a role for computer modelling in testing symbolic accounts of the structure of humorous texts. A major problem is the need for a humour-processing program to have knowledge of the world, and reasoning abilities.

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Ritchie, G. Current Directions in Computational Humour. Artificial Intelligence Review 16, 119–135 (2001).

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