Big Tech Stealing Your Humor for AI Jokes

AI, AI jokes, humor, Big Tech, AI Humor

Big Tech could be collecting our humor for AI joke training, making you less likely to lash out when the tech eventually misfires.

  • Laughter has always been some kind of balm for the soul and a soothing occurrence for the body.
  • Tech companies realize that as long as their products, including AI joke generators, are funny, we may still adopt them.

Part of the data that Big Tech collects for its AI are jokes and whatever else makes laugh, so it can replicate it with the same degree of success.

Have you seen Disney’s Monsters Inc.? If not, the movie takes place in a world where children’s screams power the city in which monsters live. The scarers travel through closet doors to the children’s rooms, scare them, and collect them. These days, it feels like Big Tech is Monsters Inc., and we’re the children whose data is getting repurposed. There’s also a premium on laughter.

Life Is Easier when Laughing

We’ve all had that one friend who laughs or jokes at inappropriate times because it diffuses the situation. Were you ever arguing with someone, and in the heat of the moment, you say something completely ridiculous that both of you start laughing hysterically? After the fit of laughter is over, sitting down and having a mature conversation feels easier. The situation, as a whole, stops feeling like a time bomb. Just don’t go laughing at funerals if you can help it though; people look at you funny. Can you imagine asking Alexa to call 9-1-1 and she answers with AI-generated jokes before dialing?

Beyond diffusing situations like an expert bomb technician, laughing is an excellent stress manager. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter has a host of benefits, both short-term and long-term, including activating and relieving your stress response and improving your immune system. Also, often, a good laugh opens the gate for a good cry, relieving you of the pent-up emotions.


From there, it isn’t a giant leap to realize that the desired reaction that tech companies want from the users when the products fail them is laughter, or at the very least amusement. No Anger. No chucking your device out the window. No buying the competitor’s product. That’s probably why, when Chrome can’t connect to the Internet, we get to take a pixelated dinosaur on an adventure rather than stare at an error message in frustration. They distract us like the humanoid cats some of us are.

They also understand that your stay on their various apps is dependent on how entertaining they are, mostly how funny. That’s how they keep you going down the rabbit holes. You’d be scrolling for 10 minutes, but suddenly, it’s midnight, and you’ve just spent your whole day bent at an awkward angle on your bed, LOL-ing.

So, some of the data that they collect about us shows what we find funny. It doesn’t have to be indicated with a laughing emoji; your passive behavior—how long is the video on a loop, how quickly we move on to the next one, etc.—is telling enough. They then analyze it and train their algorithms to replicate it. And AI has jokes. Not good ones, but jokes nonetheless.

So, they are killing our attention span, giving us unrealistic expectations of what life is, spreading misinformation, and now they are stealing our, often messed-up, humor. If they’re going to steal it, at least make the AI jokes funny. Here’s a joke courtesy of Gemini, “I tried to quit Twitter, but I just couldn’t tweet myself to do it.”

We already have an AI robot giving its version of a commencement speech. Are we going to hear of AI standup comedy generators with jokes as broken as Google’s AI Overviews?

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