They collect laughs

Laughter aggregated:

GaryILHAIRE Laughter Database,” Gary McKeown [pictured here], Roddy Cowie, Will Curran, Willibald Ruch, Ellen Douglas-Cowie, Eighth international conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC) Istanbul, Turkey, 2012. The authors, at Queen’s University, Belfast, UK and the University of Zürich, Switzerland, explain:

“The ILHAIRE project seeks to scientifically analyse laughter in sufficient detail to allow the modelling of human laughter and subsequent generation and synthesis of laughter in avatars suitable for human machine interaction. As part of the process an incremental database is required providing different types of data to aid in modelling and synthesis. Here we present an initial part of that database in which laughs were extracted from a number of pre-existing databases. Emphasis has been placed on extraction of laughs that are social and conversational in style as there are already existing databases that include instances of hilarious laughter.”

The ILHAIRE database is accessible to those who agree to certain conditions.

The encompassing ILHAIR Project web site includes a list of public deliverables, some demos (including the Body Laughter Index), and more.

BONUS, by the lead author: “The Analogical Peacock Hypothesis: The sexual selection of mind-reading and relational cognition in human communication,” Gary J. McKeown, Review of General Psychology, Vol 17(3), Sep 2013, 267-287.