“Microsoft AI and laughter converge at the National Comedy Center”


Hi, everyone. The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York are using Microsoft AI to challenge each guest to see who can make the other crack a smile. Microsoft (AI) artificial intelligence technology from Azure Cognitive Services is the behind-the-scenes judge of whether a player’s joke gets a laugh. The fact that AI is being used in an exhibit at the nation’s finest museum dedicated to the culture of comedy. Mitra Azizirad, the corporate vice president for AI marketing at Microsoft said the Laugh Battle is an example of how AI is making an impact far beyond the technology industry.

Comedy leans into tech:

The Laugh Battle is one of more than 50 interactive exhibits at the National Comedy Center, which uses technology throughout to showcase the story, history, art and personalities of comedy. A computer program uses the answers to build a sense of humor profile is stored on a RFID chip that visitors wear on a bracelet a laugh band throughout their stay for a personalized experience. For example: an exhibit called the Comedy Continuum features a wall-to-wall touchscreen with a never-ending spider web of connections between artists, media and mediums that allows visitors to explore influences, histories and trajectories of the personalities, films and shows that match their sense of humor profile.

Enter the Laugh Battle:

The AI service includes a deep neural network trained on a data-set of more than 100,000 labeled photos to recognized a range of universal facial expressions that are linked to eight emotions including happiness and sadness as well as anger, contempt, disgust fear, neutral and surprise. “Across cultures, people smile the same way, they get angry the same way, they slow disgust the same way”, Cornelia Carapcea, a principal program manager on the Cognitive Services team. Another deep neural network in the Face API tracks facial landmarks such as the corners of the lips, which shift in-tell-take ways during laughter.

Off the Shelf Intelligence:

Gunderson and her staff at the National Comedy Center dreamed up the Laugh Battle in the early planning stages for the non-profit museum as way to give visitors are engaging and unique experience. The use of the Microsoft AI to power the experience clicked as a natural fit. “Microsoft are bringing AI into culture, into society, in a way that makes it fun for everybody”.

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