Beep-Beep-Boo-Bot: Revisiting Bots
So, at this point in my exploration of the digital humanities, I’m not unfamiliar with bots. In fact, I’ve written about them at length before. More, I’ve written about the ethics
or lack thereof of bots here.
This isn’t to say that I’ve, by any means, said all there is to say about bots, just that I have thought about them and their functions in detail before. And, more, as far as interacting with and creating bots, this isn’t my first rodeo.
Anyway, that disclosed, let’s get to this week’s activities!
First, after discussing what a bot is for those who are unfamiliar with them, we explored some different bots on Twitter. I decided to check out some of the bots mentioned in this article by Lainna Fader. Since I already do follow a lot of bots (mostly sappy poetry ones
#itswhoiamasapersonsorrynotsorry), I wanted to check out some ones that come highly recommended~
Two of my favorites were the @420worldclock bot and the @wikisext bot. Totally nsfw but pretty Great~ @420worldclock seems to co-opt the the adage
I’m writing this at 4:20pm AHHHHH btw~ “It’s always happy hour somewhere” to “It’s 4:20 somewhere” and tweet out about that.
be blunt, Chulucanas!
— it’s always 4:20 (@420worldclock) August 2, 2016
Meanwhile, @wikisext is pretty self-explanatory, no???
sext: you gently keep in mind that sexuality is fluid and so are identities as i examine who gets you aroused
— how 2 sext (@wikisext) May 5, 2015
sext: i roughly understand verbal versus nonverbal communication…you keep my conversation going
— how 2 sext (@wikisext) November 13, 2017
sext: you melt my butter in my skillet as i wildly dip my shrimp in the egg
— how 2 sext (@wikisext) November 13, 2017
Personally, I think this bot gives Great advice >.< Totally recommend checking out for yourself~ (if it’s your cup of tea)
After interacting with and exploring a few bots, next, we put our newly-found bot prowess to the test to see if we could differentiate between bot poetry and, you know, traditional poetry. Not as easy as it sounds???
For the most part, I was able to identify Poe, Dickinson, Neruda, some Keats, and some Blake but, in my opinion, including e.e. cummings was just unfair >.>
I mean, have you read his work??? Come on!
There were also some really Great works that totally should be famous poems. Like, look at this:
Genius. Absolutely Great.
…Anyway, moving on~
I found it interesting to see just how similar some bot-generated poetry could be to works written by people. For some of the works, it was easily to spot the thing that made the poetry come alive. That human hand. But, for a surprising number, it was rather difficult to identify them as bot-generated. I’m not sure what that implicates for the future of the medium and of technology but it’s certainly interesting.
Revisiting Making Bots
After exploring the medium and discussing some of the functions and applications of bots, both positive and nefarious, we got to the crux of the matter: making our bots.
Now, as I mentioned, I’ve already made a bot. This pesky, circle-talking faerie… (she talks a little very-scary but don’t worry too much~ she’s harmless ^.^)
So, I didn’t really experience much difficulty in the process of creating one. It took me some time to come up with a format for the things I wanted the bot to say, though. I got a topic I wasn’t overly enthused with discussing
thank Alan. So, that took some time to develop. I came up with some Great hashtags, though, in my opinion… #zuckers, #zuckit, #zuckoff…. I mean, come on–those are Great ^.^
I didn’t really get much interaction with my bot-generated content, though. One person outside of the #netnarr scope did like a tweet, which was marginally exciting:
— Kelli 🖤💀🖤 (@helterskelliter) April 12, 2018
Aside from that interaction, the most I got on my tweets was a comment here:
We can. But we don’t. #netnarr
— KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) April 11, 2018
— Sarah Honeychurch (@NomadWarMachine) April 10, 2018
and a retweet here:
— Kelli 🖤💀🖤 (@helterskelliter) April 15, 2018
along with a few likes here and there as well~
I’d say some of my replies to some tweets got more interaction. For example, this thread:
— Sarah Honeychurch (@NomadWarMachine) April 11, 2018
It generated some interaction amongst multiple users in the #netnarr sphere, at least. Other than that, I mostly felt like I was having one-sided conversations with other users~ (which, isn’t really all that different from most conversations I’ve had with other Twitter accounts tbh~ in my experience, most aren’t super responsive to comments??).
I mean, aren’t digital communications already their own new language?? #netnarr
— Kelli 🖤💀🖤 (@helterskelliter) April 14, 2018
— Kelli 🖤💀🖤 (@helterskelliter) April 13, 2018
Don’t think I really influenced anyone all that much with my tweets but maybe some targeted hashtags could change that?? I’m not interested in keeping this bot running past this week, though. I like my personal account to be more organic~
I mean, look at the difference in my bot-reading that only a few days made:
My bot-rating jumped from 29% before using bot-generated content to 41% after incorporating only a few days worth of bot-generated content. It’s kind of odd that it’s the same percentage though as my other account, @hellsskell24, which has never had any bot content on it. And, to be honest, I kind of expected my actual bot account, @noxsiog, to have a higher bot-rating. I mean, it is a bot.
Anyway, I thought this was an interesting experience. I wish we could have generated more discussion within the #netnarr thread, at least, but I still like this approach to teaching bots. It’s interactive and creative~
Killing It: Some spooky/creepy/disturbing little stories I wrote inspired by bot prompts/nonsense #shamelessselfpromotion
Some bots I highly recommend following:
I TOOK A QUICK POWER NAP
SURE HOPE WE DIDNT GO TO WAR
— NOT A WOLF (@SICKOFWOLVES) April 14, 2018
*I mean, this is Great.
~Till Next Time~