Actually, I am a defender of 'canned laughter'.
(I'm afraid I cannot read the original article by David Baddiel, because it's behind a subscription wall.)
Laughing is very much a communal affair. 'Canned Laughter' where there is none can prove the signal for release.
I have heard plenty of people raving against canned laughter/augmented real laughter in time.
But generally these complaints tend to boil down to the supposed joke not being worth the overlaid laughter.
But if these methods were good enough for Benny Hill and Ronnie Barker, are we really going to write them all off per se?
True, laughter as we had it in 'Up the women' can make a non-joke excruciating, but that does not really negate the principle.
Simply put, if you really like the joke, you won't mind the 'canned laughter'.
But if the gag is only worth a chuckle, a cacophony of laughter can put some off.
It's therefore a matter of proportionality.
A friend of mine objects to the hyping up of studio audiences prior to recording.
He objects to sitcoms like 'The Big Bang Theory' because the laughter of the audience (no doubt worked on prior to recording to get them excited) seems too strong at times for the actual humour on offer.
I can see where he's coming from, but I still prefer too much laughter to none at all.
I think some TV comedies in recent years have at times suffered from agonising silences after the punchline.
So yes, long live 'canned laughter'.