13th Feb 2012 5:11pm | By Clare Vooght
Google has deemed the “no cat” video the funniest on YouTube, based on a new algorithm.
The search engine giant created a complex algorithm, which measures comedic value through comments and other features of a page, to determine what made it into its YouTube Comedy Slam.
On top was the clip of a cat, which has received around 640,000 hits, appearing to say “no, no, no, no” over and over.
The second funniest clip is entitled Guy Gets Killed by Bear and features a comedy kung fu duel.
Also on the list are The Human Slingshot, Fat Kid on Rollercoaster and Hilarious Cats – all chosen by the algorithm.
Researchers made the algorithm take into account the tags and comments on videos to see if they’d included words like “lol”, “rofl” and “hehehe”.
They also made sure it detected shaky cameras and audible laughter in the videos.
Google Research’s Sanketh Shetty said: “Raw view count on its own is insufficient as a ranking metric since it is biased by video age and exposure.
“We noticed that viewers emphasize their reaction to funny videos in several ways: e.g. capitalization (LOL), elongation (loooooool), repetition (lolololol), exclamation (lolllll!!!!!), and combinations thereof. If a user uses an “loooooool” vs an “loool”, does it mean they were more amused?
“We designed features to quantify the degree of emphasis on words associated with amusement in viewer comments.”
Comments on the "no cat" video include: "Ohhhg [sic] no no no no looool", "hahahahahahaha lol" and "OMG, marijuana!!!"
Comedian Dan Ilic is sceptical: "The algorithm works if you don't account for the two biggest cultural forces on the internet, irony and sarcasm.
“Haters like to hate, and the internet is filled with them, when you throw sarcasm and irony into the mix you could end up with a very different result. 'Loool awesome algorithm douche bags'."
He added that he believes the best way to judge how funny something is, is by laughter.
A data scientist said future possibilities may include stand-up comedians being able to test out routines by running it through a Google comedy filter.
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