verushka70: I took this photo of a waterfall at dusk in Olympic National Park in 2009. (waterfall)
[personal profile] verushka70
A friend sent me the link to this fascinating article ("Even good bots fight" on PLoS One) on bot behavior from Oxford researchers. I had no idea how embedded online bot activity is. The sheer volume of their activity is almost frightening: responsible for some 24% of Tweets in 2009; 54% of online ad campaigns in 2012 and 2013 were viewed by bots (which I'm sure advertisers didn't take into account, lol).

From the intro to the PLoS article:
"...bots have been responsible for an increasingly larger proportion of activities on the Web. For example, one study found that 25% of all messages on Yahoo! chat over a period of three months in 2007 were sent by spam bots [9]. Another study discovered that 32% of all tweets made by the most active Twitter users in 2009 were generated by bots [10], meaning that bots were responsible for an estimated 24% of all tweets [11]. Further, researchers estimated that bots comprise between 4% and 7% of the avatars on the virtual world Second Life in 2009 [12].

A media analytics company found that 54% of the online ads shown in thousands of ad campaigns in 2012 and 2013 were viewed by bots, rather than humans [13]. According to an online security company, bots accounted for 48.5% of website visits in 2015 [14]. Also in 2015, 100,000 accounts on the multi-player online game World of Warcraft (about 1% of all accounts) were banned for using bots [15]. And in the same year, a database leak revealed that more than 70,000 “female” bots sent more than 20 million messages on the cheater dating site Ashley Madison [16]. "

And you thought all they did was spam you with Viagra, foreign pharmacy, and upfront-fee phishing scams!

First there is the brief Science Daily article, which (under)states "Bots interact with one another, whether or not by design, and it leads to unpredictable consequences."

That links to the PLoS article, titled "Even good bots fight: The case of Wikipedia"

The brief summary at PLoS says:
"Computer bots are more like humans than you might think, having fights lasting years
Bots interact with one another, whether or not by design, and it leads to unpredictable consequences"

and
"Bots appear to behave differently in culturally distinct online environments. A new paper says the findings are a warning to those using artificial intelligence for building autonomous vehicles, cyber security systems or for managing social media."

The Science Daily article summarizes:

"The research paper by the University of Oxford and the Alan Turing Institute in the UK explains that although the online world has become an ecosystem of bots, our knowledge of how they interact with each other is still rather poor. Although bots are automatons that do not have the capacity for emotions, bot to bot interactions are unpredictable and act in distinctive ways. It finds that German editions of Wikipedia had fewest conflicts between bots, with each undoing another's edits 24 times, on average, over ten years. This shows relative efficiency, says the research paper, when compared with bots on the Portuguese Wikipedia edition, which undid another bot's edits 185 times, on average, over ten years. Bots on English Wikipedia undid another bot's work 105 times, on average, over ten years, three times the rate of human reverts, says the paper."

I wonder if the different bot behaviors in culturally distinct online environments are simply an online extension of their being programmed by different humans in culturally distinct societies, or are the differences because of language differences?

And if the latter, then which language -- the native language of the programmer(s), or the programming language used to create the bots? or some combination of both?

Also, the fact that any bots undo other bots' work shows a remarkable similarity to business management and institutional organization inefficiencies (as well as academia and research lol), where a regime change (or bad middle manager) can result in the undoing and redoing of tons of work &/or repeated reinvention of the wheel, a huge waste of both money and work hours.

Date: 2017-03-02 08:17 pm (UTC)
ride_4ever: (CKR - Ollie in Masterminds)
From: [personal profile] ride_4ever
Amazing stuff! I will have to read this more than once to absorb it all!

Date: 2017-03-03 11:15 am (UTC)
mific: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mific
Fascinating and disconcerting. Like the primordial bot soup before Skynet!

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