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Last Updated: Thursday August 02 2007 14:01 GMT

Robot laughs at people's jokes


Loads of us know people who tell jokes that no-one else finds funny.

Most of us groan or smile politely, but a new invention could get these jokers thinking they're comedy geniuses.

It's a robot with a sense of humour that has been programmed to recognise a "pun" - when we play with words which sound the same to make them funny.

When the robot, developed by US scientists, hears a pun - for example: "That was really punny" - it giggles in response.

A toy robot
A toy robot

The robot has an in-built dictionary and when it hears a word that seems out of place, it searches for words which sound similar to identify the pun.

Then it laughs.

The robot was designed by a team at a university in the American state of Ohio.


They think it could be the first step towards a time when humans actually hang out with robots to stop them feeling lonely.

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