Robot that laughs at people’s jokes

Loads of us know people who tell jokes that no-one else finds funny. Most of us groan or smile politely, but a new invention could get these jokers thinking they’re comedy geniuses. It’s a robot with a sense of humour that has been programmed to recognise a ‘pun’ — when we play with words which sound the same to make them funny. When the robot, developed by US scientists, hears a pun — for example, “That was really punny” — it giggles in response. The robot has an in-built dictionary and when it hears a word that seems out of place, it searches for words which sound similar to identify the pun. Then it laughs.