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In an audacious act of desperation, 20 comedians have turned to artificial intelligence to write their stand-up routines, resulting in performances more painful than a surprise tax audit.

Comedian Dave Thompson said: “Honestly, I thought the robot might outdo me. But after its first joke about binary code, the audience looked like they’d rather be anywhere else - even at a Nickelback concert.”

The AI, known affectionately as “Jokebot 3000”, was programmed with every joke ever told, from knock-knock classics to cutting-edge satire. Despite this extensive database, its performance included gems such as “Why was the computer cold? Because it left its Windows open.”

Comedian Maria Bamford, known for her dark humor and wit, was handed a routine about robot dogs and quantum physics. “It was like the AI fused a TED talk with a birthday clown act,” she said, “and not in a good way.”

Despite the less-than-stellar reception, the comedians were undeterred. “I reckon with a few more updates and less tech puns, Jokebot could at least reach the comedic level of a corporate office Christmas party,” Thompson said.

The creators of Jokebot 3000 meanwhile, are optimistic about its potential: “Our next project is an AI that laughs at its own jokes. At least then somebody will be laughing.”

AInspired by: What happened when 20 comedians got AI to write their routines