JACIII Vol.24 No.2 pp. 199-205
doi: 10.20965/jaciii.2020.p0199


Computer Humor and Human Humor: Construction of Japanese “Nazokake” Riddle Generation Systems

Asuka Terai*, Kento Yamashita**, and So Komagamine***

*Department of Complex and Intelligent Systems, Future University Hakodate
116-2 Kamedanakano-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 041-8655, Japan

**FMiruka, Mt. Hakodate Ropeway Corporation
19-7 Motomachi, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0054, Japan

***Flower Hills Corporation
4-1 Odori Nishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0042, Japan

May 20, 2019
December 9, 2019
March 20, 2020
humor, dependency analysis, language generation, cognitive science

Humor is important in smooth human communications, however, computer-generated humor is still distinguishable from humor that arises naturally in human communication. The purpose of this study is to construct a computer system that can generate humor in a human-like manner. The method involves using “nazokake” riddles, which comprise a type of Japanese word game. The game creates humorous links between two incongruous premises by linking them semantically to homophones: “Why is A like B? Because X/X,” where A and B are independent premises and X and X are homophones linked to A and B, respectively. In a previous study, a system was constructed to generate such riddles based on a simple word similarity between two nouns that are homophones. This study builds on the previous study by generating more complex riddles based on the dependency relationships between homophonic verb-noun combinations. Subsequently, the two systems are compared with each other by evaluating them against riddles created by humans. The results show that the system based on dependency relationships generated more humorous, unexpected, and natural riddles than that based on word similarities. However, these riddles were not equal to those created by humans.

Cite this article as:
A. Terai, K. Yamashita, and S. Komagamine, “Computer Humor and Human Humor: Construction of Japanese “Nazokake” Riddle Generation Systems,” J. Adv. Comput. Intell. Intell. Inform., Vol.24, No.2, pp. 199-205, 2020.
Data files:
  1. [1] J. Morkes, H. K. Kernal, and C. Nass, “Effects of humor in task-oriented human-computer interaction and computer-mediated communication: a direct test of SRCT theory,” Human-Computer Interaction, Vol.14, No.4, pp. 395-435, 1999.
  2. [2] M. Maeda and T. Onisawa, “Generation of Nazokake Words Considering Funniness and Relation Degrees Among Words,” J. of Japan Society of Kansei Engineering, Vol.5, Issue 3, pp. 17-22, 2005 (in Japanese).
  3. [3] A. Terai and K. Yamashita, “Cognitive Mechanism of Humor in Riddles: Examination of Relationship between Humor and Semantic Structure of Riddles,” Proc. of 2018 Joint 10th Int. Conf. on Soft Computing and Intelligent Systems and 19th Int. Symp. on Advanced Intelligent Systems (SCIS&ISIS2018), pp. 1421-1426, 2018.
  4. [4] R. A. Martin, “The Psychology of Humor: An Integrative Approach,” Elsevier, 2007.
  5. [5] T. Hobbes, “Leviathan,” Kindle version, Green World Publishing, 2016.
  6. [6] C. R. Gruner, “The Game of Humor: A Comprehensive Theory of Why We Laugh,” Transaction Publishers, 1997.
  7. [7] R. S. Wyer and J. E. Collins, “A theory of humor elicitation,” Psychological Review, Vol.99, Issue 4, pp. 663-688, 1992.
  8. [8] S. Freud, “Humour,” Int. J. of Psychoanalysis, Vol.9, pp. 1-6, 1928.
  9. [9] H. Spencer, “The Physiology of Laughter,” Macmillan’s Magazine, March Issue, pp. 395-402, 1860.
  10. [10] N. R. F. Maier, “A Gestalt Theory of Humour,” British J. of Psychology, Vol.23, Issue 1, pp. 69-74, 1932.
  11. [11] J. Suls, “Cognitive Processes in Humor Appreciation,” P. E. McGhee and J. H. Goldstein (Eds.), “Handbook of Humor Research – Vol.1: Basic Issue,” pp. 39-57, Springer, 1983.
  12. [12] G. Nerhardt, “Humor and inclination to laugh: Emotional reactions to stimuli of different divergence from a range of expectancy,” Scandinavian J. of Psychology, Vol.11, Issue 3, pp. 185-195, 1970.
  13. [13] M. K. Rothbart, “Incongruity, Problem-Solving and Laughter,” A. J. Chapman and H. C. Foot (Eds.), “Humor and Laughter: Theory, Research, and Applications,” pp. 37-54, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 1976.
  14. [14] M. K. Rothbart, “Psychological Approaches to the Study of Humour,” A. J. Chapman and H. C. Foot (Eds.), “It’s a Funny Thing, Humour – Proc. of the Int. Conf. on Humour and Laughter 1976,” pp. 87-94, Pergamon, 1977.
  15. [15] T. R. Shultz, “The role of incongruity and resolution in children’s appreciation of cartoon humor,” J. of Experimental Child Psychology, Vol.13, Issue 3, pp. 456-477, 1972.
  16. [16] T. R. Shultz and F. Horibe, “Development of the appreciation of verbal jokes,” Developmental Psychology, Vol.10, Issue 1, pp. 13-20, 1974.
  17. [17] J. M. Suls, “A Two-Stage Model for the Appreciation of Jokes and Cartoons: An Information Processing Analysis,” J. H. Goldstein and P. E. McGhee (Eds.), “The Psychology of Humor: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Issues,” pp. 81-100, Academic Press, 1972.
  18. [18] T. Nakamura, “A study of relationship between humorousness and three major theories in metaphorical expressions,” Proc. of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Cognitive Science Society, pp. 1083-1084, 2017 (in Japanese).
  19. [19] T. Kudo, K. Yamamoto, and Y. Matsumoto, “Applying Conditional Random Fields to Japanese Morphological Analysis,” Proc. of the 2004 Conf. on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP 2004), pp. 230-237, 2004.
  20. [20] T. Kudo and Y. Matsumoto, “Japanese Dependency Analysis using Cascaded Chunking,” CoNLL 2002: Proc. of the 6th Conf. on Natural Language Learning 2002 (COLING 2002 Post-Conf. Workshops), pp. 63-69, 2002.
  21. [21] T. Mikolov, I. Sutskever, K. Chen, G. Corrado, and J. Dean, “Distributed representations of words and phrases and their compositionality,” Proc. of the 26th Int. Conf. on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS’13), Vol.2, pp. 3111-3119, 2013.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Oct. 23, 2020