Bizarre article on The Atlantic about a social-engineering study organized by Web Ecology Project. The goal, to determine if it was possible not only to infiltrate social networks, but also to influence them on a large scale by using social robots.
The group invited three teams to program "social bots" -- fake identities -- that could mimic human conversation on Twitter, and then picked 500 real users on the social network, the core of whom shared a fondness for cats. The Kiwis armed @JamesMTitus with a database of generic responses ("Oh, that's very interesting, tell me more about that") and designed it to systematically test parts of the network for what tweets generated the most responses, and then to talk to the most responsive people.
In the case of @JamesMTitus, the robot gained 109 followers in two weeks and all three robots had successfully insinuated themselves into the centre of the target network.
|SHIRI: Robotic Buttocks to Represent Emotion|
|Introducing Our First Twitter Bot (Sort of): Miss Fortune at @bottune|
|When Robots Commit Crimes, Who Is Responsible?|
|Deutche Post DHL's Parcelcopter Delivers Medicines|
|"Is meant to produce more energy than it consumes."|
|“We have to forget steel as a core employer.”|
|“It’s not something you would expect to see there and not something we’ve seen there before.”|
|“Drone carrying defibrillators could begin operating in Sweden.”|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|"Its tilted axis makes orbit, showing the position of the sun and the time."|
|"The first to target civilians and the first such malware built to target a nation’s power supply."|
|"Technological transformation first reduced the income of the populations for decades, although societies became wealthier in the long term."|
|“Making paper out of stone.”|
|It's a Commercial About a Sweater|
|A Simple Task for CRISPR|
|“Lights-out factory devoid of human labor”|