By Richard Gray , Science Correspondent Telegraph
The machine, which has been created by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, was designed to generate its own witty one-liners following a simple set of rules.
The system was programmed to exploit one of the most successful and popular components of comedy, where a statement is followed up with a surprising comment.
Some comedians, such as Tommy Cooper and Les Dawson, used this style with great affect.
However, like some of its human predecessors, the computerised comedian has developed a rather politically incorrect approach to humour – the jokes it produces can be rather sexist.
Others veer more into the surreal rather than the genuinely funny.
The computer software was designed to find unlikely pairings of words and to make a connection between them.
It most commonly came up with jokes comparing men or women with another object, like: “I like my women like I like my gas … natural.”
While some could have rivalled a human comedian for generating a wry smile, others worked less well.
One joke that did not work so well was: “I like my men like I like my court … superior.”
Some comedians have made a successful career out of jokes like these. Chicago based comedian Darren Carter improvises "I like my women like I like my ..." jokes according to words called out by the audience.
Among his favourites is: "I like my women like I like my ... camera ... ready to flash.
David Matthews, a computer scientist who helped develop the computerised comedian at the University of Edinburgh's school of informatics, said when they tested the jokes on volunteers they found they laughed, although not as much as man made humour.
He said for computer generated jokes to improve, the software would need to develop cultural awareness.
He said: "Computers have an advantage over people in that they can process masses of information, so we fed computers a wealth of material from which they extracted creative and unusual word combinations to fit our joke template.
“The holy grail for machine-generated comedy would be to include cultural references, but these are very hard to capture."
Dr Matthews is due to present the computer at the Association for Computational Linguistics annual meeting in Bulgaria.
Engage laughter circuits:
Some of the less PC jokes generated by the PC
I like my women like I like my gas ... natural
I like my men like I like my acorns ... buried
I like my boys like I like my sectors … bad
I like my men like I like my monoxide - odourless
I like my men like I like my court … superior
And some that will not upset the PC brigade
I like my coffee like I like my war … cold
I like my relationships like I like my source … open
I like my fish like I like my text … raw
I like my business like I like my fish … small