"Asimov had a short story about computers and jokes. It was one of those stories about that building-sized computer that "was fed all the knowledge humanity had acquired", and which "could answer any question you gave it, if you gave the question correctly." One of the scientists who was tasked with feeding it data and questions happened to enjoy practical jokes, but then he started pondering the concept of jokes, so fed the computer specific detail on humor, and asked it two questions: 1) "what is the source or cause of all humor", and 2) "what is the result of knowing the answer to the first question"... The computer considered the data given to it, and concluded that "humor is an artificial construct imposed on humans by an alien race for the purpose of studying psychology, and knowing this fact makes humor cease to be of use for that purpose so they will cease to impose it on humanity". the last lines of the story, the scientist is trying to make jokes, and nothing's turning out funny."
(Ashley 1/10/2013 5:50:48 PM)
"You're referring to the mechanical jokester from his 1956 story Jokester; it's one of the stories about Multivac. Good catch!"
(Bill Christensen 1/10/2013 7:24:59 PM)
"so long as it's not funnybot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcY9jp6mGts :D"
( 1/13/2013 10:53:47 AM)