Humor Computer Interaction

UPDATE: Currently partnering with humorists and designers to develop a series of humor-oriented technologies. contact: to participate in an upcoming workshop

Humor as research and design space gets me out of bed in the morning. It is my broadest research area, with meme impact (+ meme culture), playful designs and benign violations of our expectations of technology (a core aspect of humor) as subcategories/areas for exploration. 

Humor is a core part of the human social experience. It’s a commonly enjoyable mechanism by which humans are able to connect, share, and deepen affinity. As HCI, including the sub-fields of educational technologies, HRI, and technical HCI - move rapidly towards designing, developing and incorporating new human-like digital and robotic technologies, in addition to new modes of interaction (including VR and AR) it’s valuable to consider how humor, a natural social function, might be incorporated into these technologies, and what the impact of humor might be on a user.

Intuitively, many HCI researchers know that the concept of incorporating humor in systems, platforms, and digital agents has merit. At the very least, many agree that the incorporation of humor in these applications is worth exploring. As more human-centered design approaches are used in HCI, humor is a natural new frontier for exploration as it is so commonly experienced and employed by humans. If one is inclined to observe human behavior, as an HCI design researcher might, occasions where humor arises in social contexts is plentiful. View any social engagement and you’re sure to see humor easing interactions and increasing the quality of social encounters.

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Upcoming projects: 

Digital Agents + Humor

Technologies that disobey/violate/subvert commands

Humor + human robot interactions

Current humor-computing interaction research questions: 

Can we deepen our understanding of how humor might be incorporated into technologies? What role should laughter play? 

How might humor impact users?

What kinds/styles/genres of humor impact which users?

What area might humor be applied to interaction to aid the user experience?

Can technology be funny?

Which technologies do most people want to be funny (or would have a better interaction with if it were funny)?