Normally, if a publisher has a problem with spam bots, it has something to do with dreaded promotional comments that don't make any sense. But USA Today has another problem — the bots just love the colourful newspaper's Facebook page. That's led to the FBI getting involved.
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Bot accounts are the bane of Twitter. The automated accounts that are often characterised by the default egg icon can wreak all sorts of havoc and totally turn the tide on topics that are trending. In a new paper, researchers discovered a bot army of 350,000 accounts that all had one thing in common: a love of Star Wars novels.
If you haven't yet heard, the chatbots are coming — ready to take your pizza order, answer your technical support questions, and even help you respond to your friends' pictures in the most predictable way. We're still in the very early days of the bot revolution on Facebook Messenger, but we've found a handful that are actually worth shooting the breeze with.
Almost a year after a massive hack exposing the users of the infidelity website Ashley Madison, its parent company Avid Life Media is bringing on a new CEO and president to make some much needed changes. However, the company is also the subject of a new US Federal Trade Commission investigation, according to Reuters.
Amazon recently announced that the Alexa AI powering its Echo and other hardware has now learned 1,000 "skills" (up from just 135 in January). In case you're not up to speed with all the new tricks, we've picked out 40 of our favourites — you can discover the other 960 yourself.
Facebook's new Messenger chatbots are barely two days old, and it's definitely showing. Right now, you can only interact with a few, and finding them is a huge pain in the arse. But after tracking some down and shooting the shit for a couple of days, I realised that using these robo-assistants is like trying to talk politics with a toddler.
Facebook's Messenger has recently started dabbling with chat bots, such as the one used by Uber to help you order a ride. Now, reports suggest that Zuckerberg & Co. may be about to open up such possibilities much more widely.
The developers at Ashley Madison created their first artificial woman sometime in early 2002. Her nickname was Sensuous Kitten, and she is listed as the tenth member of Ashley Madison in the company's leaked user database. On her profile, she announces: "I'm having trouble with my computer ... send a message!"
Earlier today, I reported that Ashley Madison's source code reveals a concerted effort to create an army of thousands of female bots to "engage" men and get them to pay more for the site's services. Now we have a chart from the company's leaked emails that shows how much money they made from the bots.
After searching through the Ashley Madison database and private email last week, I reported that there might be roughly 12,000 real women active on Ashley Madison. Now, after looking at the company's source code, it's clear that I arrived at that low number based in part on a misunderstanding of the evidence. Equally clear is new evidence that Ashley Madison created more than 70,000 female bots to send male users millions of fake messages, hoping to create the illusion of a vast playland of available women.
These tiny construction robots look like they're doing a well-choreographed dance, working together to build a structure. Who's driving? Nobody — these micro machines cooperate autonomously, using the same concept that guides termites and bees to build huge structures without a supervisor or blueprint. Look at them go!
Inventors, designers and engineers are constantly cribbing from Mother Nature, building new-school robots inspired by old-school biology. Let's take a look at some of the latest, greatest, and weirdest designs that use biomimicry to give animal capabilities to machines.