Tuesday, 19 April 2016

seal of approval

Via Boing Boing, comes a dystopian but probably very prescient look at how the ecology of robots and social media has changed after the disastrous and messy hook and crook of an experimental chatbot from Hugh Hancock that posits in the near future, not only will everyone enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame, they’ll also be attended by flights of chatty mobs—potentially making human presence on-line, at least in certain, defined circles, not a very pleasant or varied experience.
Public-relation firms could deploy armies of minions that could rival any mortal army of the most vitriolic and determined army of internet comment-trolls. Such flea-circuses, no matter how rudimentary or sophisticated, could soon manipulate the news and censor what might go against the current of the trending issue of the day by scale and inertia, elevating the flattering and burying the unbecoming. What do you think? Is it like a public garden being occupied by vandals and hooligans or might this never come to pass? Once these pests get into the wild, I am betting that human-users won’t be easily able to cull this invasive species.