Perhaps one of the most complex pieces to the human puzzle is our sense ofhumor.
A sense of humor not only involves intelligence and comprehension butalso an array of emotions. It is not enough to just understand somethinghumorous, but it is also necessary that an emotional and physiological responsebe able to occur for a person to have a sense of humor. However, though there ismuch involved in getting a joke, there are even more factorsinvolved in telling a joke (Ziv 27). This is, unfortunately, an oversimplifiedexplanation of what a sense of humor entails, as many people have their ownopinion about what a sense of humor is. It is possible that we may be able tomeasure the level of humor a joke has. It would seem that the greater thepositive reaction a joke can evoke and the larger the amount of people iteffects, the funnier a joke is.
Conceivably then, it can be said that though itmay not be all too difficult to create a joke, creating a really good jokerequires much more capability. Now that there is some establishment of what asense of humor is, the next question is, can a sense of humor be taught? To ahuman, perhaps it can be, but whether a good sense of humor can be taught to acomputer is doubtful. Where our technology lies today there is little chance ofcomputers replicating true human emotion (Beale 45). As our world simultaneouslyshrinks and expands through the growing abilities and applications of computersin our everyday lives, it seems that the role of the computer has been reversed.
Before we knew that the computer only understood what we programmed it tounderstand; however, now the majority of our society is learning more fromcomputers than they are able to input into it. As stated, it only seems that theroles are being reversed, because somewhere far down at the beginning of theline someone is programming the computer. However, a transition is occurringamong computer programmers, as they attempt to create machines that learn ratherthan machines that must be programmed. It has become the hope of many engineersthat the “mechanisms of human thought could be precisely modeled andsimulated on a computer”. This is known as Artificial Intelligence Essay(Artificial 3).
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, since its conception, has grownfrom a dozen researchers, to thousands of engineers and specialists; fromprograms capable of playing checkers, to systems designed to diagnose disease (Dumm4). With all that the computer is learning now a new question arises: How longbefore a computer can learn to understand and execute the attributes of a goodsense of humor? It is believed that the theory of AI has existed long beforerecorded, but was not made conceivable until the invention of the electroniccomputer in 1941 (Dreyfus 6). Since then many scientists and engineers have beenworking on a way to make the computer more human. Once it was noticed that thecomputer could perform simple tasks such as mathematical problems and memoryrecall much faster than humans the idea began that they should become more likeus (Beale 2).
However after almost sixty years scientists have still not beenable to create AI in the sense that they had hoped. Even the Intelligence thatthey have given computers, which at the time was considered a triumph inreaching towards AI, is no longer considered valid(Kurzweil 14-16). Thisincludes such “simple” machines as intelligent chess boards and otherprograms for elementary games. In the mid 1960s, however, Marvin Minskycreated and interactive computer program that many believed to be ArtificialIntelligence.
Though Minsky was even doubtful of his achievement anotherscientist, Joseph Weizenbaum, quickly stepped forward with an even strongerrepresentation of AI. This new program was called Eliza and was able to imitatea nondirective therapist. This form of AI was extremely believable to those whotested it, but Weizenbaum promptly explained the simplicity of his program. Hethen pointed out the directions and commands the program used to fakecomprehension (Dreyfuss 69-72). Weizenbaum proved through his contest that bothhis and Minskys programs wereBibliography”Artificial Intelligence.
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