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Kyle Chayka wrote a piece about that Bot-Hype and then it actually got very interesting: „It injects a cold dose of reality into the current enthusiasm around bots (and chat platforms), what qualifies something as a bot, and what is really behind a bot. The piece wasn’t presented as a chunk of text on the MEL Magazine website, though. It is instead delivered through a series of chat interactions.“
NiemanLab: “An essay in bot form”: Text with this basic text bot to read about (and discuss) the bot boom, We are Mel: Talking to a Bot About Bots, Well, What Do You Say to an Anxious Bot?. (via Jana)
“Hello. I’m the Essay Bot,” a text shoots back when you send “essay” to the number 203-872-5806. “I’d like to talk to you about bots.” And then: “Can you answer a question first, though? What comes to mind when I say the word ‘bot?’ Answer however you like. I won’t be offended.” (I responded: “A scary algorithm-controlled monster.”)
The essay bot continues to ask questions and offer tidbits as the user texts responses — I sent 17 texts before getting to the end of the road (“Want to start this conversation over? [Y/N]”). […] This bot, annoyingly, kept questioning my understanding of what a bot really was, offering quips like “I think we bots have more potential than just acting as digital functionaries, serving your habits. What else do you want us to do?” and “Even I’m a product of human labor, no smarter than a Choose Your Own Adventure Book.”
“The bot was made to argue about something. The point of the bot wasn’t to serve you. It was to propose an argument in and of itself,” Chayka said. “It’s an essay, in bot form.” […]
“I’m just looking at some of the responses, […] And [some] people wrote surprisingly long responses, which is kind of crazy. I guess people are used to sending long texts these days?” […] Some participants also told him they wrote knowing that a human would ultimately be reading their messages. Chayka will read through all the responses and write a follow-up for the magazine on Friday.