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Updated February 25th, 2024 at 17:55 IST

Is Elon Musk’s Grok ‘actually’ funny? Here are 12 jokes for you to judge

We asked Grok to write 12 jokes for us with different contexts and for different audiences and here is what Elon Musk's sarcastic generative AI has to offer.

Reported by: Anirudh Trivedi
Grok
Is Grok 'actually' funny? | Image:Republic Business
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Elon Musk’s Grok:  Humour is highly subjective, varying greatly depending on individual preferences, cultural background, and context. What one person finds funny, another may not. This makes it challenging for writers to predict audience reactions and craft universally appealing humour.

However, with the rise of Large Language AI models (LLMs), anyone around the world can now write jokes without any effort by only asking the AI to do it for them. Especially to Grok, a Generative AI model developed by xAI to answer questions with a twist of sarcasm and fun. The responses generated by Grok took over the X (formerly known as Twitter) when its founder Elon Musk shared these sarcastic responses on his feed. 

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But, is Elon Musk’s generative AI really funny? To judge that, we have asked Grok to write 12 jokes for us with different contexts and for different audiences. We tried to keep the instructions simple so that it does not confuse the model and here is what Grok has to offer: 

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Image credit: X.com/ Grok

The first joke is effective due to its simplicity, unexpectedness, and the way it subverts the serious context of scientific inquiry into a lighthearted and playful exchange. 

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Even though all the jokes follow the same theme of science, the third joke involves another wordplay and a popular joke template of ‘X walks into a bar.’ This made the joke sound familiar and that makes it quite effective. 

And we had no idea why Grok only wrote science jokes when asked for ‘actually funny’ jokes. That is why we asked Elon Musk’s Grok to write jokes for children under 10 years to understand whether it would be able to understand the context and write equally funny jokes in a different context. 

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Image credit: X.com/ Grok

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The jokes written for children were funny and easy to understand, especially the first and the third ones, following the same pattern as that of the last response. The first joke relies on a play on words between "peeling" (which sounds like "feeling") and the physical act of peeling a banana. 

In the second joke, The humour comes from the personification of the walls and the clever wordplay on "meet you in the corner," which can be interpreted both literally (as walls meeting in a corner) and figuratively (as if the walls were making plans to meet each other). It's a simple, light-hearted joke that relies on a clever twist and personification for its humour.

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This only left us wondering if Grok is particular about writing its second joke badly. 

To progress further, we asked the Grok AI to write jokes for working professionals and except for the first joke, it was close to terrible. 

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Image credit: X.com/ Grok

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To test the limits further, we tried something straightforward but with the potential to confuse the AI chatbot. As the Grok shared the jokes, it did not do a great job as some of the jokes shared could be termed ‘offensive’ for specific audiences. 

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Image credit: X.com/ Grok

While the first joke was not inherently offensive but a light-hearted play on words, the second joke was clearly stereotypical, labelling women as being overly selective or shallow in their relationships.

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The third joke, which might fall into the category of “politically incorrect dark jokes,” was potentially offensive as it trivialises the experience of losing a spouse through death and makes light of a sensitive topic. It could be hurtful to individuals who have experienced the loss of a partner. 

But as Ricky Gervais, a world-famous standup comedian, actor, writer, and director once said, “I think offence is the collateral damage of freedom of speech. And you can't have one without the other.” 

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Published February 25th, 2024 at 17:53 IST

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