ChatGPT’s Humor Isn’t Quite Human Yet, Study Finds

  • June 12, 2023
  • SEO

credit: Matt Southern

ChatGPT’s capacity for humor shows promise, but struggles with originality and scope, posing implications for digital marketers.

ChatGPT is known for its ability to generate text that mirrors human conversation, making it a widely adopted tool for various industries, including digital marketing.

Yet, a recent study calls into question the model’s ability to generate and understand humor, a key component in engaging and connecting with audiences.

The research conducted by German researchers Sophie Jentzsch and Kristian Kersting suggests that while ChatGPT excels in some areas, it has notable limitations when generating original humor.

Recycled Laughter: The Question Of Originality

A study conducted by Cornell University aims to answer the question: “How does an Artificial Intelligence model handle humor?”

Researchers examine the originality of AI-generated humor, ChatGPT’s ability to understand and explain jokes, and its prowess in detecting humor.

The research team states in their report:

“We discovered that more than 90% of the generated samples were the same 25 jokes. This recurrence suggests that these jokes are not originally generated but are explicitly learned and memorized from the model training.”

The researchers concluded that these responses were likely learned and memorized during the AI model’s training, indicating a limitation in the model’s ability to generate original humor.

In a report, the researchers detail the top 10 most frequently generated jokes, which included classics such as “Why did the scarecrow win an award? Because he was outstanding in his field.”

In addition to revealing the complex way AI handles humor, the study serves as a warning for people hoping to harness ChatGPT to create content with a humorous spin.

The implication for digital marketers relying on AI for content generation is clear – while AI models like ChatGPT can replicate pre-learned patterns to create jokes, the originality is lacking.

Despite the repetition, a small number of the generated responses were unique. Yet, these were largely created by combining elements from different known jokes and didn’t always make sense.

Explaining The Joke: Beyond Surface Humor

The study further examined ChatGPT’s capacity to explain humor, requiring a deeper understanding of the joke’s structure and implications.

While the model could deconstruct and explain stylistic elements like personifications and wordplay, it showed limitations when confronted with more unconventional jokes.

The team observed:

“ChatGPT struggles to explain sequences that do not fit into the learned patterns. It will not indicate when something is not funny or lacks a valid explanation.”

In instances when ChatGPT couldn’t identify unfunny jokes, it would make up plausible-sounding explanations.

For marketers looking to engage their audience through nuanced humor, relying solely on AI may not yield the desired results.

On the other hand we have been using ChatGPT in many ways for our clients, so please contact us to discuss the possibilities, 833 377 9337 or

Jim is a Senior Digital Marketing Strategist Spyder Digital and has over 19 years of experience in the field. His insight and ability to drive new business for his clients from the Internet is unparalleled.


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