Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I'm very taken by mythology. I read it at a very early age and kept on reading it. Before I discovered science fiction I was reading mythology."
- Roger Zelazny

Meson Filter  
  Provides robots with the ability to tell the difference between jokes that provide a chuckle and jokes that provide a belly laugh.  

Lester the Jester decides to test his new robot comedian Rupert.

"Hey, Rupert, tell me a joke."

Rupert's mouth opened. His voice clacked out, rising and falling like a sine wave. "On what subject, sir?"

The Rholg's mechanic leaned across his flat purple chest. "That's another gimmick - a meson filter. You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags so he could fit them to the audience. And price was no object. That's all you have to tell a tech. They knocked themselves out developing a gadget to do the job just right..."

From The Jester, by William Tenn.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1951
Additional resources -

Rupert the robot comedian is also a very early example of a machine that is able to laugh - in this case, at his own jokes:

The robot, standing perfectly immobile, was clacking wildly, grinding his gears and pinging his wires as if he were coming apart.

"That's another bug the techs didn't have time to clean up. Comes from the meson filter. Near as we can figure out it's what they call an aftereffect of his capacity to distinguish between gags that are partly funny and gags that are very funny. Electronic differentiation of the grotesque, as it says in the specifications - in man, a sense of humor. 'Course in a robot, it only means there's a kink in the exhaust."


('The Jester' by William Tenn)

Compare to Mycroft Holmes, the computer humorist from Robert Heinlein's 1966 novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Jester
  More Ideas and Technology by William Tenn
  Tech news articles related to The Jester
  Tech news articles related to works by William Tenn

Articles related to Artificial Intelligence
Hundreds Of Covid-Catching AI Tools - None Help
DARPA's Sarcasm Detector Totes Gets Your Drift
SF Writers Predicted John Deere Autonomous Tractors
DARPA Funding AI Fighter Pilots

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Adorable One-Seater Electric Car From Wuxi Sinotech
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed...'

Zoom Adds Real-Time, Live Translation
'He immediately turned the small shining disc of the Language Rectifier..'

It's Spacewalk Sunday, Thanks To The ESA
'The delicious, indescribable pleasure of being a little planet swinging through space...'

Pengxing Intelligent Robot Horse You Can Ride
'The horse reared up, pawing the air, then sprang into a gallop.'

Tesla Bot Humanoid 'Robot' Vs. Boston Dynamics Atlas Parkour Robot
'...most jobs that require a human form are better done by those organic alternatives.'

Altos Labs' Bezos Wants An Anti-Agathic (To Live Forever)
'So what we're looking for now is... an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug.'

Carver EV Single Person Microcar Leans In
'Farr paid his fare, summoned a one-man car...'

Smartphone Microdrone Concept - Viva Vivo!
'With the Scarab as big as a beetle, I could make a Scarab as big as a sand grain.'

Anti-Forced Organ Harvesting Global Summit
'The doctor was a line of machines with a conveyor belt running through them.'

Flyboard Water Jet Shoes Lift Off
'I shall never forget that first lesson in aerial walking.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.