Jokes and Belief Revision
- Belief revision and update, belief merging, information fusion-General
- Commonsense reasoning-General
- Nonmonotonic logics, default logics, conditional logics-General
The paper deals with a topic little studied in artificial intelligence: the understanding of humor. In this preliminary study, we try to identify the basic mechanism at work in quips and narrative jokes. It seems that in many cases a belief revision process is operating, leading to an unexpected conclusion, through the punchline of the jest. We propose a formal modeling of jokes based on belief revision. Namely the punchline, which triggers a revision, is both surprising and explains perfectly what was reported in the beginning of the joke. This also suggests a way of ranking jokes in terms of surprise and strength of explanation, using possibilistic logic.