There have been some articles lately, in Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal for example, concerning efforts to give Artificial Intelligence systems something resembling a simulated sense of humor.
Interesting research, perhaps, but at this juncture I’m less concerned above providing a sense of humor for AI systems than maintaining a sense of humor for human beings. Several professional comedians have commented about the increasing difficulty of doing comedy in an environment of hysterical political correctness. But even more important is the degree to which fear of denunciation and mobbing seems to be affecting personal life and workplace behavior.
Effective organizations, at least in this country, have tended to involve a certain level of easy interaction–including kidding around–among people. What happens when we lose this?
I suspect that the productivity impact, although hard to measure directly, will be quite significant. As will the impact on the happiness and mental health of individual humans.