How online 'chatbots' are already tricking you

Chris Baraniuk, , Jun 11, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

OK, so chatbots that lure people to dating sites or convince bitcoin users to give each other tips are not going to impact most of us. But with as much as 65 percent of online chatter being generated by bots, chances are you've read or interacted with one. Of course, it really depends on how you define 'bot'. I have systems that automatically generate content - if I post a photo on Flickr, it`s automatically tweeted, blogged and Facebooked (when the system is working). OLDaily posts automatically show up on the "OLdairy Twitter account (and maybe my Facebook page; I`m not sure). The MOOC.ca newsletter si automatically generated. Are these bots? Maybe. But they're there because I think people find them useful.

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