When you hear the term ‘bot,’ you may think about the US Presidential election or political propaganda in general, but that’s not the entire story about the ways coders are getting creative. If you haven’t followed or heard of @Horse_ebooks check out this introduction as an introduction to the wild ways of Twitter bots (for a really cool visual introduction to Markov chains click here).
So which five Twitter bots might you want to check out right now (and why?)?
The New Yorker’s Poetry Bot, sharing one poem a day from our archive, at random. Follow to receive a poem directly; subsequent poems won’t be @-messaged to you.
Since Olivia Taters first tweeted in November 2013, the bot has gained notoriety as the one most likely to be mistaken for a human. Its special patois came from how the bot selected text: It looked for tweets that used adverbs –“literally,” or “finally,” for instance — then switched the part of the sentence that came after the adverb with a line from another tweet. Dubbin found that the resulting word soup sounded like a teenage girl, and Olivia Taters was born.
5. Not a Twitter bot, but rather an interesting use of bots via the BBC–might be changing the way you interact with their content online, read more here.
For the BBC, bots represent a new way to reach and inform readers who are not deeply engaged in complicated news stories, said Heinrich. One recent bot set out to help users understand how the sharp rise in personal lending might affect them. BBC has also used the tech to help readers catch up on the situation in North Korea and understand the latest flu outbreak. And these bots can all be reused in any piece that reporters think will benefit from deeper background information; the Trump’s-first-year chatbot had run in at least 10 BBC stories.