Imad Khan at CNET: Amid a flurry of new hardware including the Pixel 7, the Pixel Buds Pro and a new Pixel Tablet, Google dropped one development at its I/O developer conference that went largely unnoticed: Its AI can now understand jokes.
Jokes, sarcasm and humor require understanding the subtleties of language and human behavior. When a comedian says something sarcastic or controversial, usually the audience can discern the tone and know it’s more of an exaggeration, something that’s learned from years of human interaction.
But PaLM, or Pathways Language Model, learned it without being explicitly trained on humor and the logic of jokes. After being fed two jokes, it was able to interpret them and spit out an explanation. In a blog post, Google shows how PaLM understands a novel joke not found on the internet.
Understanding dad jokes isn’t the end goal for Alphabet, parent company to Google. The capability to parse the nuances of natural language and queries means that Google can get answers to complex questions faster and more accurately across more languages and peoples. This, in turn, can break down barriers and move humans away from communicating with machines through predetermined means and instead more seamlessly interact. This can include answering questions in one language by finding information in another or writing code to a program as a person is speaking into the model with a specific task.