Friday, April 29, 2011

Science Tackles the Important Problems


Ever wish you had a robot that could make "that's what she said" jokes?

THEN THIS IS YOUR LUCKY DAY.

Chloé Kiddon and Yuriy Brun, a pair of computer scientists at the University of Washington, have finally brought humor into the 21st century by creating a program that can analyze blocks of text for the most inviting places to insert yourself ... in the form of a timely "that's what she said!"

The problem the pair faced was not just teaching the computer to know when it was possible to add a "that's what she said" to the end of a sentence, but also to know when it would actually be funny. To do this, they fed the computer 1.5 million unintentionally naughty sentences, along with examples of plain and unfunny text. Then, to increase the program's understanding of what words make for good euphemisms, the researches applied a "sexiness" function to the raunchiest-sounding nouns and adjectives, with words like "rod," "meat," "hot," and "wet," being given high sexiness functions.

What a glorious time to be alive.

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