Spot the Bot! Ways to Identify You are Interacting With Bots
Been in a fruitless loop of a conversation about your Cab complaint or a flight refund on a social media platform? Chances are you have been speaking to an AI powered bot employed by the respective cab service provider and airlines to help with some tasks which have the same or similar questions as well as solutions. Worst still, you may be interacting with a fake account. Advanced ML is making the bots seem more and more humanlike by adding nuances which correspond to human behaviour in a very convincing manner and hence these bots are hard to identify. We take a look at ways in which one can identify bots.
Social Media Bots
Take a good look at the user profile. You may notice the lack of a profile picture and nothing in the bio either. If the bot has a profile picture it is likely to be stolen from the web. The account name could be a randomly generated name too. Social Media bots, especially those on Twitter, are assigned a particular task and you may find them to go on and on about a particular topic (task assigned). This includes posting the same links or content. Moreover, the language they use sometimes gives out their identity. Even though ML has made a lot of progress it is still challenging for bots to speak/write in the human language. Social Media bots are also over active. Non-stop 24×7 posts from an account could indicate they are a bot too. Such accounts are usually also followed by a lot of bots.
Asking the chatbot an emotional question will generate a standard reply or a standard reply in two or more ways, but it will not address the emotion in question. Next time you are suspicious, throw the bot an emotion! A challenging question can also be a way to tell a chatbot from a human on the other end. At any time during the conversation ask about the colour of their clothes or hair. A chatbot doesn’t wear clothes and does not have hair and is likely to answer this question wrongly. A human on the other hand may be taken by surprise and answer this question, or react in a way that you can tell he or she is a human. If you are using an app which enables a to-and-fro conversation, for example a dating app, you can rule out if you are chatting with a bot by asking questions in a creative manner. Alternatively, if you know a less popular language, try and speak with the bot in that language. As bots are usually trained in English or the other popular languages only, they may say they don’t understand you.
Bot-checker tools and websites help track bot activity, especially on platforms like Twitter. Try them out if you think you are interacting with a suspicious account.
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It’s most obvious in the digital media space, from click buys to personalized web experiences. For marketing, the AI journey has just kick-started, while in the tech sector it has been applied for a while now. We are still at an early stage where inroads are being made into AI content via chatbots and even some explanatory content creation but what will make anyone jump up and embrace it is when we will start seeing a lot of mainstream content being created by AI.
Prior to joining Infinite Analytics, Richard served as the CFO of CrowdFlower, COO and CFO of Phoenix Technologies, as a member of the board of directors and chairman of the Audit Committee at Intellisync, and previously as CFO and executive vice president strategy and corporate development at Charles Schwab.
Pravin Gandhi has over 50 years of entrepreneurial operational and investing experience in the IT industry in India. He was a founding partner of the first early stage fund India - INFINITY. Subsequently a founding partner in Seedfund I & II. With over 18 years of investing experience, he is extensively well networked in investment and entrepreneurial scene and is an active early stage angel investor in tech & impact space. Pravin holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, and serves on the board of several private corporations in India. He is on the board of SINE, IIT Mumbai Incubator.
Puru has his Masters in Engineering and Management from MIT. Prior to MIT, he worked with Fidelity Investments building electronic trading products and high volume market data processing applications. He has completed his BE from VJTI, Mumbai.
Deb Roy is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT where he directs the MIT Center for Constructive Communication, and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. He leads research in applied machine learning and human-machine interaction with applications in designing systems for learning and constructive dialogue, and for mapping and analyzing large scale media ecosystems. Deb is also co-founder and Chair of Cortico, a nonprofit social technology company that develops and operates the Local Voices Network to surface underheard voices and bridge divides.
Roy served as Executive Director of the MIT Media Lab from 2019-2021. He was co-founder and CEO of Bluefin Labs, a media analytics company that analyzed the interactions between television and social media at scale. Bluefin was acquired by Twitter in 2013, Twitter’s largest acquisition of the time. From 2013-2017 Roy served as Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist.
Erik Brynjolfsson is the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Professor and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI), and Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab. He also is the Ralph Landau Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), Professor by Courtesy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Department of Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Akash co-founded IA while studying for his MBA from MIT. Prior to MIT Sloan, he co-founded Zoonga. Before this, Akash was an engineer with Oracle in Silicon Valley. He has completed his M.S from University of Cincinnati and B.E from the College of Engineering, Pune.