Artificial Humor

Is it just me, or are there a lot less funny movies and TV shows now than there used to be? The quality and quantity both seem lower now. I'm not saying there aren't any funny movies or TV shows. But 30 years ago we could see 3-4 really funny movies a year, there were 2-3 really funny TV shows, and a new TV show premiered almost every year. These days we are lucky to have even one hilarious TV show and a laugh-out-loud movie every year.

Supposedly Arrested Development was one of the funniest TV shows ever made. I think it's a good show, clever, well made, and Season 4 was a work of art. I'm glad I watched all 4 seasons but I didn't think it was consistently hilarious. I smiled a lot while watching it, but hardly ever laughed.

The level of chess and Go being played today is far above that from 50 years ago. Many people (not me) would argue that modern art has created highly advanced works. Even some artistic movies seem better and more advanced than in previous decades. A Bergman movie seems pretty stale these days. So why aren't we in the golden age of comedy, an accelerating era where laugh-out-loud funny movies are released every week?

In this list of the 25 funniest movies ever made ....most of them were made a long time ago. Recent movies just aren't that funny. We are lucky to have a lot of clever movies, good plots which bring a smile to your face. But they aren't laugh out loud funny like The Blues Brothers.

That's why I'm looking forward to comedy written by AI. We can call this artificial humor. This takes the roomful of monkeys analogy to a new level. A powerful AI could write thousands of funny stories and scripts per day, then filter out the few it thinks are hilarious. A single machine could generate an outstanding script every day.

Björn Schuller knows what is coming. Machines will soon be writers.

It will take awhile, the same way it took awhile for a computer to beat the world champion in Go. There were many “experts” who predicted a computer could never beat the Go world champion. Not only were they wrong, but they were proven wrong a lot sooner than even their detractors expected. Someday computers will be just as funny as humans.

So keep an eye out for artificial intelligence scriptwriters. If I were trying to make a living as a scriptwriter I would be pretty concerned about all this for one simple reason. If a computer writes 1000 scripts it can delete 999 of them without us ever knowing. It can grade them and keep the best 0.1%. Human writers don't have the luxury of deleting 99.9% of their work, few human writers have the luxury of deleting anything.

So in conclusion, I for one welcome our new comedy writer overlords.