Most social media users know that bot accounts are among us, whether as fake voters with loud opinions or obsessive re-tweeters of a single corporation’s content. When it comes to telling many ‘fake’ accounts from real ones, however—or just knowing how many non-individuals are active online—even savvy users are mostly…
Over the last year, “fake news” has gone from being a niche concern that charlatans exploited for profit, to a code red existential threat to the fabric of society—or something in between. But our scientific understanding of how and why false stories spread is still limited. Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab are diving…
Have you seen this Twitter account from General John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff? Some tweets from the account have started to go viral on conservative Twitter in recent days, as it gains followers at a rapid pace. But it’s totally fake.
In what’s either the best art project, the best business move, or both, someone has made what I presume is a bot that’s churning out thousands of unique iPhone cases for sale on Amazon. Pretty much all of them are masterpieces.
Normally, if a publisher has a problem with spam bots. it has something to do with dreaded promotional comments that don’t make any sense. But USA Today has another problem—the bots just love the colorful newspaper’s Facebook page. That’s led to the FBI getting involved.
Revision wars on Wikipedia amongst human editors is an all-too-common occurrence, but new research from the UK shows that similar online battles are being waged between the site’s software robots.
Crossovers are a mainstay of pop culture, but they rarely address the deepest questions posed by their fictional universes. “What if Guy Fieri was Han Solo?” you might ask. “What if the Joker had a beard?” Thanks to a criminally deranged Skype bot named Murphy, you needn’t wonder any longer.
In our post-meme culture, context is the enemy of humor, and so, the enemy of the meme. Sometimes, it’s up to the shitposters to preserve the meme’s endangered absurdism. People have been juxtaposing meme tropes for ages (not just in the wake of Harambe, as some people think), but the great boon to internet nonsense…
This creep machine, called Alter, runs entirely off a neural network. That means all its incoherent and erratic movements are 100 percent free of any human control. It’s basically alive.
If you haven’t yet heard, the chatbots are coming—ready to take your pizza order, answer your technical support questions, and even help you respond to your friends’ pictures in the most predictable way. We’re still in the very early days of the bot revolution on Facebook Messenger, but we’ve found a handful that are…
Almost a year after a massive hack exposing the users of the infidelity website Ashley Madison, its parent company Avid Life Media is bringing on a new CEO and president to make some much needed changes. However, the company is also the subject of a new Federal Trade Commission investigation, according to Reuters.
Just in time for everyone to freak out about Lin-Manuel Miranda leaving “Hamilton,” New York has criminalized ticket bots to make it a little easier to get tickets. Maybe.
Amazon recently announced that the Alexa AI powering its Echo and other hardware has now learned 1,000 “skills” (up from just 135 in January). In case you’re not up to speed with all the new tricks, we’ve picked out 40 of our favorites—you can discover the other 960 yourself.
Most of us have resigned ourselves to never seeing “Hamilton” in this lifetime, but Lin-Manuel Miranda himself says that it doesn’t have to be that way. He wants to fight the ticket robots together so us lowly non-celebs can buy them before they’re resold for half the price of a new car.
Facebook’s new Messenger chatbots are barely two days old, and it’s definitely showing. Right now, you can only interact with a few, and finding them is a huge pain in the ass. But after tracking some down and shooting the shit for a couple of days, I realized that using these robo-assistants is like trying to talk…
Facebook’s Messenger has recently started dabbling with chat bots, such as the one used by Uber to help you order a ride. Now, reports suggest that Zuckerberg & Co. may be about to open up such possibilities much more widely.
The developers at Ashley Madison created their first artificial woman sometime in early 2002. Her nickname was Sensuous Kitten, and she is listed as the tenth member of Ashley Madison in the company’s leaked user database. On her profile, she announces: “I’m having trouble with my computer ... send a message!”
Earlier today, I reported that Ashley Madison’s source code reveals a concerted effort to create an army of thousands of female bots called “engagers” to coax men into paying more for the site’s services. Now we have a chart from the company’s leaked emails that shows how much money they made from the bots.
After searching through the Ashley Madison database and private email last week, I reported that there might be roughly 12,000 real women active on Ashley Madison. Now, after looking at the company’s source code, it’s clear that I arrived at that low number based in part on a misunderstanding of the evidence. Equally…
This is the story of how I wrote a Twitter bot to automatically enter contests and ended up winning an average of four contests per day, every day, for about nine months straight.