Programmer Develops Twitter Bot to Troll Climate Change Deniers

Preaching the climate change gospel can be tough work, especially on Twitter. Software developer Nigel Leck got tired rehashing the same 140-character arguments against climate change deniers, so he programmed a bot that does the work for him. With citations!

Leck's bot, @AI_AGW, doesn't just respond to arguments directed at Leck himself, it goes out and picks fights. Every five minutes it trawls Twitter for terms and phrases that commonly crop up in Tweets that refute human-caused climate change. It then searches its database of hundreds to find a counter-argument best suited for that tweet—usually a quick statement and a link to a scientific source.

As can be the case with these sorts of things, many of the deniers don't know they've been targeted by a robot and engage AI_AGW in debate. The bot will continue to fire back canned responses that best fit the interlocutor's line of debate—Leck says this goes on for days, in some cases—and the bot's been outfitted with a number of responses on the topic of religion, where the arguments unsurprisingly often end up.

AI_AGW has been prone to mess up, shooting messages to people who sarcastically mention how climate change is a myth. In these cases, Leck always follows up with a human apology. [Technology Review]