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, these nonhuman Internet entities are not (contra to stock art in tech articles), literally robots typing on keyboards with metallic fingers. To answer this question is to go to some foundational debates about what machine intelligence really represents.They are crude computer programs, ably defined by James Gleick in a It’s understood now that, beside what we call the “real world,” we inhabit a variety of virtual worlds. In their textbook on artificial intelligence, David Poole and Alan Mackworth delineate several approaches to building artificial agents.
For example, I like to break up the monotony of grad school by trolling a Twitter bot by telling it to do better at passing its Turing test.
I’ve even facetiously suggested setting up a bot school with fellow However, the toll that bots have exacted is no laughing matter.
The other is to make a simple, buglike agent with limited abilities to reason and act but the ability to function in a complex and interactive environment. The simplest way to understand a bot, as computer security researcher David Geer notes, is as an “agent for a user or another program.” Although bots have a lot in common with Poole and Mackworth’s second, agent design paradigm, it is also fair to say that they sidestep artificial intelligence and its debates altogether. programs are the majestic lions and eagles of the artificial ecosystem, bots the disgusting yet evolutionarily successful cockroaches and termites.
If artificial intelligences are surprisingly primitive and fragile, difficult to generalize to new environments, and based on a contradictory set of scientific assumptions, bots have no such problems. Many bots amount to automatic control programs roughly as sophisticated as a thermostat.
Bots succeed or fail based on how well their creators understand the art of creating the “illusion of intelligence,” a kind of computational con game that uses the least “intelligent” of artificial agents to nonetheless project humanity to Web surfers going about their business. Bot scammers on dating sites are out to directly get money from lovesick targets or utilize them to install malware on unsuspecting users’ computers.
Spammers have proved remarkably creative and adaptive.The Gameover Zeus botnet, for example, cost its small-business targets about 0 million in losses in the United States and infected about 1 million computers worldwide.And when the aim is using bots to suppress political speech, the damage is difficult to quantify but meaningful all the same., groups of bots networked together to simultaneously execute a distributed denial-of-service attack by sending large numbers of messages to a target system.But that doesn’t scratch the surface of the various malicious means available to bot programmers.only to find out that “she” was a scripted computer program with the face of Skilled Tinder bot programmers, for example, can fool gullible users by designing and scripting their bots to mimic the proverbial girl next door.