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Computer Comedian Suggests Pics to Make Your Online Chat Funnier

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I'm just sooooo funny...when helped by a bot.

A new system called CAHOOTS suggests funny pictures to use when chatting online.

Credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend/Getty

New software can bring a sense of humor to online chat. Called CAHOOTS, the system suggests humorous pictures to use when chatting online.

Carnegie Mellon University Ph.D. student Miaomiao Wen and colleagues from Microsoft Research have designed the system to use text typed into a chat window to search for images and constantly provide an updated selection from which to choose. For example, in response to the typed question "Why u late?," the system suggests images found by searching for "funny why" and "funny late," an image emblazoned with the words "I don't know!," as well as an image meme generated on the fly.

The team tested CAHOOTS on more than 700 recruits from Amazon's Mechanical Turk crowdsourced working platform, and found most thought using the system was more fun than plain chat and that it helped them express their sense of humor.

Although computers are not known for their sense of humor, they "can definitely help people be funny," Wen says. She notes some participants even said the images helped lead to new topics of discussion.

The team now is adapting the system to work with email.

From New Scientist
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