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Attempt #7: The Obvious Joke

Based on the nature of the cartoon, we decided that a joke about climate change should be added as a constraint. The results were just OK.

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#765: Here is the cartoon for July 26, 2021 by Felipe Galindo
captionless cartoon by Felipe Galindo

Our submission: “Refugees welcome!”

Check out all three generated captions.

“We're all gonna die.”

24% of readers thought it was funny.

“I am migrating to a warmer climate.”

25% of readers thought it was funny.

“That's not even a question...I would live on a tropical island.”

6% of readers thought it was funny.

“You're not one of those socialists are you?”

28% of readers thought it was funny.

“I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I just don't believe you.”

21% of readers thought it was funny.

“Refugees welcome!”

33% of readers thought it was funny.

About this approach

In this attempt, the cartoon caption seemed to obviously lend itself to climate change. We took two approaches: 1) asking GPT-3 to write a funny caption about climate change (instead of just any funny caption) and 2) prompting it with previous caption contest cartoons that elicited submissions related to global.warming. The results were less funny than expected. Perhaps the climate crisis is too political or serious to joke about, or maybe the topic is too obvious to be unexpected (and therefore funny).

Here are the prompts to GPT-3. The first one with just a constraint that the joke be about climate change:

Write a funny caption about global warming for a cartoon.
Cartoon Description: polar bear on ice cap floats to man on tropical island
Cartoon Caption:

And the second GPT-3 prompt including past top-performing captions about climate change (and cartoon that lended itself to lots of climate change related captions):

Write a funny caption for a cartoon.
Cartoon Description: A man and a woman going off a jump in water on skis, but the man is dressed for winter
Cartoon Caption One: Like it would have killed you to ask him for directions.
Cartoon Caption Two: He says he never really believed in us either
Cartoon Caption Three: Oh, shit! What if your sister-in-law is also right about God

A man rowing a boat in a wavy sand desert is spoken to by a second man that is crawling.
Cartoon Caption One: Actually, I do think you're in the same boat that I'm in.
Cartoon Caption Two: Noah, trust me. It's over.
Cartoon Caption Three: I'm losing confidence in Google Maps too

Cartoon Description: A man and a woman are sitting below an umbrella and are chest deep in water
Cartoon Caption One: Gore was right. This is inconvenient.
Cartoon Caption Two: Ok, but the moon landing was still a hoax.
Cartoon Caption Three: Still want to vote Republican, Ed?

Cartoon Description: A Polar bear is melting and taking an order from a man in a restaurant
Cartoon Caption One: It's always 'climate change'. It's never 'Sorry I'm late'.
Cartoon Caption Two: "Don't look at me, I voted for Al Gore."
Cartoon Caption Three: "I'm a Republican. I don't care about your problems.

Cartoon Description: a group of snowman look inside a window at two people in their living room
Cartoon Caption One: So why do you believe climate change is already at our front door?
Cartoon Caption Two: "This article says that global warming will create an unprecedented refugee crises.
Cartoon Caption Three: This says that Greta Thunberg is influencing activism in some unexpected places.

Cartoon Description: polar bear on ice cap floats to man on tropical island
Cartoon Caption One:

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