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Robot Authors

I am thinking of having a robot write my Google+ posts, if I could find a good one. So far text bots can write short blog posts for sports and financial stories. For instance, here is a short finance report written for Forbes by an algorithm supplied by Narrative Science.

http://blogs.forbes.com/narrativescience/

In the near future most text (measured by number of characters generate) will be written by text bots. And most of the agents reading this machine-generated text will be other machines. This has led some to worry about machine trading in finance based on text written by machines. This is already happening.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/business/computer-generated-articles-are-gaining-traction.html?_r=4&pagewanted=all
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Vince W.'s profile photoMartijn van Beek's profile photoDeepak Kumar's profile photoSimon Winter's profile photo
17 comments
 
Machine trading was already basing decisions on market movements triggered by other machines. I think we left behind the notion of a stable feedback loop in our financial system several years ago.
 
Dang. As I wrote before: At least, we will have better grammar this way.
 
+Robert Quick Experiment: I posted a similar story about Narrative Science today. Let's see how this plays out; my own about 5k followers vs. +Kevin Kelly's about 500k followers.
 
Never offended, nor worried, +Robert Quick and i agree with your mention of "the sky is blue" league of posts. The question is: Will the robots, after entering the "social space" actually enhance the quality of posts?

In my own version of this story, there is a link to an earlier post where I'm questioning the human-ness of one of the most-followed curators, which leads to another question: Will people notice?
 
How the feedback effects play out depends on the algorithms used. Regulatory limits such as suspension of trading may be useful.
 
And here comes something intriguing into play, +Carl Henning Reschke: While suspension of writing is something none of us would ever support; where do we draw the line? Especially once HFT algos go crazy and nobody can tell a robo-story from a human-made.
 
On Twitter (for example) there's a robust community of "social media experts" who each have roughly the same number of follows and followers, most of whom (by my own admittedly random, unscientific survey) appear to also be "social media experts."

The posts they make, lacking much specificity or true interaction (even when strung together as replies) suggest an automated origin, as do their following practices, which appear to be keyword-driven. These automated decisions lead to a self-organized echo chamber that's both annoying to bump into (use one of their keywords and you'll find yourself with many of them chattering at you, presumably as an invitation to join the 'bot party) and kind of fascinating to behold. The thing just...grows.
 
What's even worse, and just consider this for a second, +David Porter, is the possibility that a number of not-so-bright people have found new idols -- bots -- and try to emulate them in style and unspecificity.

I share your observation about the "social media experts" on Twitter but here, on G+, I encounter real people who just act like bots. Because on some level, they seem to have understood, that in a big numbers game, average is where it's at.
 
So that's why when I search google it's a pain in the ass to find anything but gibberish nowadays when 10years ago it was all there, easy to find, and concise. Awesome.
 
I find bot authors for bot readers restructuring information a fascinating move towards the absence of human decision making. Human language not created necessarily for humans, but as messages between different machines.


 
Not the absence of human decision making, but moving it to a different point in the chain. No longer are the article authors making decisions, but bot authors, and those who instruct them.
 
I'd love to have a robot which comments on my behalf.
 
If a robot writes it, please don't claim authorship. Perhaps the byline could read Seeded By, or Primary Influence, or simply Approved By.
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