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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: scientists/researchers » Artificial Humour (AH) War between China and USA

version: 3 / updated: 2011-01-14
id: #1445 / version id: #1443
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Originally submitted by: Rafael Popper
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Last changed by: Rafael Popper
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Source of inspiration

Scientists/researchers (incl. reports, plans and statements)


(max. 9 words)

Artificial Humour (AH) War between China and USA


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
In October 2010, the Tianhe-1A system at China's National Supercomputer Center achieved a performance level of 2.57 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second). As a result, the Cray XT5 “Jaguar” system at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility in the U.S. is now ranked in second place, given that Jaguar achieved 1.75 petaflop/s. The supercomputing performance race and the growing efforts to create electronics that can mimic and emulate the amazing power of a human brain have recently been boosted with the introduction of the missing 4th electronic component, the so-called "memristor". Before its introduction, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies have been based on three elements of electronic circuits: resistors, capacitors and inductors. As reported in the New Scientist Magazine “within the past couple of years, memristors have morphed from obscure jargon into one of the hottest properties in physics. They have not only been made, but their unique capabilities might revolutionize consumer electronics." As a result of the growing supercomputing and AI competition, scientists in China and the USA decide to embark in the ultimate challenge for their systems, that is, the production of artificial humour.


artificial intelligence, humour, memristor, resistor, capacitor, inductor, joke


(max. 250 characters)

Major scientific and technological breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence (AI) leads to the creation of Artificial Humour (AH) or automated joke generating applications. China and USA go into a Humour War to test Tianhe-1A and Jaguar supercomputers.


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Features of life if the wild card manifests

Feature 2: education and research environment
Blooming of artificial intelligence (AI) research.
Feature 6: health and quality of life
Jokes available for everyday life situation.

Type of event

Human planned (e.g. terrorist attack or funded scientific breakthrough)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
A new development/situation
(e.g. a Romani state is established in central Europe; A message from an alien civilisation existing on a distant planet is received and understood, etc.

Type of systems affected

Human-built Systems - E.g. organisations, processes, technologies, etc.




please specify:
please select
Level 1: important for a particular country China, USA
Level 4: important for the whole world

Early indicators

(including weak signals)

Growing efforts to create machines that can replicate and understand human emotions involved in humour, wit, aesthetic response, taste, etc.

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

affective filters (emotions, anxiety, self-doubt)
scientific filters (knowledge/technology access)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably pervasive way (contagious or transmittable)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Emergence of a new system (e.g. new technologies, new paradigms)


Emergence of Artificial Emotions (AE) systems.

Key drivers or triggers

Provide up to 2 possible drivers or triggers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
please describe
Driver / Trigger 1
please describe
Driver / Trigger 2
Technological/Scientific Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Advances in supercomputing performance.

Potential impacts (risks & opportunities)

Timeframe options
Risks Opportunities
(within 1 year after the Wild Card manifests)
Emergence of a global Take-It-Easy (TIE) culture using jokes for every situation.
short term
(1 to 5 years after the Wild Card manifests)
Artists, musicians, designers and other actors in the creative industry can be threaten by the new IT systems replacing their role in society.

Potential stakeholders' actions

it occurs
it occurs
Academic/Research sector Need for research on society's response to truthworthy AI systems.

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Behavioural change
Ethics and abuse of S&T
Innovation dynamics
Techno-security, hazard & risk

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
ICT - Information & communication technologies
Social Sciences and Humanities
Science in society

Pan-European strategies potentially helping to deal with the wild card

please justify:
particularly relevant
Developing and funding world-class research infrastructures

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Overcoming sub-criticality and systemic failures
To be subcritical means that the effort in a particular field or subfield lacks resources, equipment or a sufficient number of researchers to achieve a desired goal

Relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
Need for research on implications of AI systems capable of understanding and replicating emotions.