Computer software scientists at a group of universities in Scotland have developed a program that generates jokes for children who need computerised speech aids.

The System to Augment Non-speakers Dialogue Using Puns, or Standup, lets children choose words or compound words from the software’s dictionary that it then puts together into joke templates.

It compares the selected words to other words to check for phonetic similarity and concepts to link the words together to make puns.

Some examples of the software’s work includes:
What do you get when you cross a car with a sandwich? A traffic jam.
What do you call a strange rabbit? A funny bunny

A 10-week trial at a school in Glasgow has gone well, with the children taking to it “like fish to water”, according to one of the scientists.

“It gives these kids the ability to control conversations, perhaps for the first time, it gives them the ability to entertain other people. And their self-image improves, too”, said Dr Annalu Waller.