Scientists invent a computer that writes sexist jokes

Because the world definitely needed help with that

By Katie McDonough
Published August 6, 2013 4:54PM (EDT)
   (<a href=''> Hywit Dimyadi </a> via <ahref=''>Shutterstock</a>)
( Hywit Dimyadi via Shutterstock)

A machine invented by scientists at the University of Edinburgh to tell witty one-liners is mainly just churning out semi-coherent and vaguely sexist jokes. (Related: the computer was recently hired to write for the next season of "Two and a Half Men." Just kidding. Is that even still a show? Who cares.)

The software was designed to connect unlikely pairings of words, and most commonly generates comparisons between men and women, to bizarre effect:

I like my women like I like my gas ... natural

I like my men like I like my acorns ... buried

I like my boys like I like my sectors … bad

I like my men like I like my monoxide ... odourless

I like my men like I like my court … superior

David Matthews, a computer scientist who helped develop the program, explained a bit more about how it works to the Telegraph: "Computers have an advantage over people in that they can process masses of information, so we fed computers a wealth of material from which they extracted creative and unusual word combinations to fit our joke template."

In a separate interview with the Telegraph, the computer noted that it would "be here all week," and reminded its audience to "please tip your human waiter."

via the Telegraph


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Humor Jokes Sexism Tech