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Writers from The Onion and Pixar Are Helping Make Google's AI Funnier

You're going to need humans to make AI actually funny.

by Madison Margolin
Oct 11 2016, 2:47pm

Image: Google

Funny artificial intelligence is nothing new. We might be used to Siri's bad jokes on our iPhones or messing with Amazon's Alexa. And recently an AI robot Sophia tried out a pickup line on Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes last week.

Now Google has joined the trend of human-like artificial intelligence to make AI a little more fun. Its new assistant was developed in part by comedy writers from Pixar and The Onion, the satirical newspaper that is sometimes just too honest for these crazy times we live in, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Onion's satirical headlines can be pure gold. Image: hildgrim/Flickr

Pixel, Google's new phone, on sale at stores October 21, will be the first device to feature this AI. It will also be the voice of Google Home, a "glorified speaker with an embedded personal speaker", as Motherboard's Ben Sullivan recently reported.

The idea behind hiring comedy writers is to "infuse personality" into the AI voice assistant, said Gummi Hafsteinsson, product manager of Google Home. The eventual goal is for the user to feel emotionally connected to the assistant. Before we know it, AI will be taking over for our dating lives, too.

As humans and AI become closer and AI more a part of our lives—Google aims to get their AI on all connected devices within hearing range—humor is an important part of allowing people to interact more naturally with their automated assistants.