Does it matter if a computer jokes?

TitleDoes it matter if a computer jokes?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsKhooshabeh, P., C. McCall, S. Gandhe, J. Gratch, and J. Blascovich
Conference NameProceedings of the 2011 annual conference extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, CHI EA '11
Date Published05/2011
Conference LocationVancouver, BC, Canada
ISBN Number978-1-4503-0268-5

“We need oxygen, especially if someone farts!” The goal here was to determine whether computer interfaces are capable of social influence via humor. Users interacted with a natural language capable virtual agent that told persuasive information, and they were given the option to use information from the dialogue in order to complete a problem-solving task. Individuals interacting with an ostensibly humorous virtual agent were influenced by it such that those who judged the agent unfunny were less likely to be persuaded and departed from the agent‟s suggestions. We discuss the implications of these results for HCI involving natural language systems and virtual agents.

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