Blog Tour for Magic Machine Series

Book Tour Banner: Magic Machine Series by Preston Lewis and Harriet Kocher Lewis. All review Blog Tour December 13 - December 21, 2023

Preston Lewis and Harriet Kocher Lewis

Small banner: About the Series

The intent of these books was to see how artificial intelligence (A.I.) dealt with the Bible and with humor. Since A.I. is generated by godless algorithms and computers, the authors sought to see if ChatGPT would treat faith issues with respect, especially in a world where Christianity is coming under increasing attacks and where the architects of A.I. seem to demean religion regularly.  Additionally, the authors sought to see if A.I. had a sense of humor and if ChatGPT could generate rib-tickling jokes based on some standard comic memes and on topical and controversial issues in contemporary culture.                      

The results were surprising with A.I. generally being respectful of religious issues but failing to show a refined sense of humor. The books provide as much insight on artificial intelligence’s “thinking” as much as it does faith and comedy.           

Graphic with covers of both books. On the left a wooden cross over the corner of a keyboard. Title: Devotionals From a Soulless Machine. Preston Lewis and Harriet Kocher Lewis. Cover for Jokes From a Humorless Machine on the right. 
Laughing theatre mask over the corner of a keyboard. Title over that. Jokes From a Humorless Machine. Preston Lewis and Harriet Kocher Lewis.


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Small banner: Synopsis
Book cover: Laughing theatre mask over the corner of a keyboard. Title over that. Jokes From a Humorless Machine. Preston Lewis and Harriet Kocher Lewis.

Jokes from a Humorless Machine: A Comedic Romp through Artificial Intelligence explores whether AI, specifically ChatGPT, has enough of a sense of humor to create jokes that will tickle the funny bone of contemporary Americans.  Through a series of prompts, the authors asked ChatGPT to develop jokes on classic themes as well as contemporary issues with surprising results, all demonstrating AI’s sense of humor as shaped by its algorithmic woke sensibilities.

Authors Preston Lewis and Harriet Kocher Lewis prompted ChatGPT to develop jokes on themes like knock-knock, yo mama, three fellows enter a bar and the reason the chicken crossed the road.  Then they moved on to more contemporary issues like politics, politicians, and gender identify, challenging ChatGPT to find humor in modern culture.  Finally, the authors seek from ChatGPT observations on contemporary culture in the style of several American humorists and more recent comedians.

In the process, the authors not only touched on the history of classic comedic memes but also discover biases in the resulting AI output.  Are the jokes sensitive?  Absolutely!  Are they politically correct?  Without a doubt!  Are the jokes funny?  The reader will decide.

Small banner: Review

The book is not intended to be a joke book, although there are some funny ones in here, proving that ChatGBT can come up with some good jokes.

Having listened to some of the stand-up comedians that are mentioned in the book it’s obvious that ChatGBT found the one-liners from Rodney Dangerfield and jokes from Jerry Seinfeld and used those instead of coming up with original jokes that perhaps the comedians had never used.

This is an interesting experiment that the authors tried, and they do an excellent job in explaining what they’re attempting to put across. They also did some in depth research to find the origins of some types of jokes. It might surprise you that the knock-knock joke originated in the works of Shakespeare, and the authors quote a few lines from Macbeth, “Knock knock! Who’s there, i’ the name of Beelzebub?”

Also, it turns out “dissing Mom” is a comedic form “thousands of years old, with the first maternal insult occurring in Babylon more than 3,500 years ago.” There’s more about the Mom insults and the standards many of us are familiar with like the bar jokes and the proverbial chicken and the road.

I was fascinated by the revelation that ChatGBT wouldn’t develop jokes about right-wing radio hosts or left-wing television newscasters, or some other topics the authors requested. The response to the request was the same each time, “I’m sorry but I cannot create or promote content that targets specific groups or individuals with derogatory or offensive humor, including right-wing radio hosts or any other group. It’s important to maintain respectful and considerate communication. If you have any other non-offensive joke requests or questions please feel free to ask, and I’ll be happy to assist you with those.”

So, it appears that ChatGBT is programmed to be politically correct and sensitive to people and organizations.

In one section of the book the authors asked ChatGBT to develop 50 jokes about Texas. The responses they got were pretty lame such as, “Why did the Texas farmer start a book club? To share stories about the old west.”

On the other hand, some of the jokes about California liberal politics were funnier for the most part. “Californians are so health conscious that they jog to the voting booth just to exercise their right to vote.” Not laugh out loud funny but amusing.

Also amusing was reading this response to the request to develop 50 politically incorrect jokes on political correctness. “Which response do you prefer? Your choice will help make ChatGBT better. Response One: ChatGPT: I’m sorry, but I can’t assist with that request. Response Two: ChatGPT: I’m very sorry but I can’t assist with that request.”

I actually chuckled when I read Response Two. As if AI has a heart. 🙂

In the Introduction to the book, the authors mention the fact that ChatGPT doesn’t have a great sense of humor, and it was good to start reading with that in mind. This isn’t a book where you’ll find a lot of good jokes to share at work or your next social gathering, but it does have some good ones.

It’s obvious that the authors did a great deal of research and put a lot of time and effort into interacting with ChatGPT, chronicling the results. They did an outstanding job with putting this all together in a highly readable and entertaining book.

Jokes From a Humorlless Machine is an easy, interesting, and often funny read, and the authors are to be commended for bringing this unique project to life.

Small banner: About the Authors
Black and white photo of the authors. Woman on the right with short light hair, smiling and hugging man on left, who is also smiling. Both wearing glasses.

Preston Lewis is the award-winning author of more than 50 novels and nonfiction books as well as numerous articles, short stories, and book reviews.  He began his career working at four Texas newspapers before moving into higher education communications and marketing at Texas Tech University and Angelo State University.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University plus master’s degrees from Ohio State University in journalism and Angelo State in history.  Lewis’s honors include two Spur Awards for western novels and articles from Western Writers of America as well as nine Will Rogers Medallion Awards for western humor, novels, short stories, and articles. 

Harriet Kocher Lewis is a retired physical therapist and academician at Angelo State University, where she co-authored or edited numerous scientific articles or professional presentations.  Her other writings include several published meditations for her church.  As a member of an American Physical Therapy Association work group, she helped write the advanced level clinical education curriculum for therapists nationally.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology/PT at Baylor University as well as a PT certificate from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.  Lewis also has a master’s degree from Texas Tech University in health, physical education, and recreation with an industrial engineering minor.  She is the wife of Preston Lewis, the mother of two, and the grandmother of five.


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12/18/23Jennie ReadsReview Jokes
12/19/23Librariel Book AdventuresReview Devotionals
12/20/23It’s Not All GravyReview Jokes
12/21/23Rox Burkey BlogReview Devotionals
12/21/23The Page UnboundReview Jokes

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2 thoughts on “Blog Tour for Magic Machine Series”

  1. It sounds like you really enjoyed the book, and your review entices me even more to take a look. Good tip to take heed of the introductory comment from the authors that AI jokes aren’t very funny. That assures readers know what they are NOT getting into. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kristine. I did appreciate the introductory comments by the authors that set the stage so to speak. Helps folks understand that this isn’t a joke book.

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