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A research team led by Harvard Business School post-doctoral fellow Michael H. Yeomans put this laughing matter to the test. In a new study, he used that joke and 32 others to determine whether people or artificial intelligence (AI) could do a better job of predicting which jokes other people consider funny. […]
The team enlisted 75 pairs of people, including spouses and close friends. Among the participants, 71 percent had known each other for longer than five years. […]
Who was the better judge of humor? The computer. Algorithms accurately picked the jokes that people deemed funniest 61 percent of the time, whereas humans were correct 57 percent of the time. The computer even beat out the joke recommendations of close friends and spouses, a comedy of human errors that surprised the research team. They figured people would have a better handle on something as subjective and personal as the taste in humor of someone they knew well.