Put a couple of bots in a virtual room and what do you get?
Hilarious bickering and sniping, that’s what.
The first ever conversation between two simple artificial intelligence agents ended in an argument.
They get increasingly bot-hered over:
what each one just said, whether they were robots and the existence of God.
You can see it here.
Wikipedia needs bots to help manage 40 million articles in 293 languages.
These benevolent bots add links to other Wikipedia pages, undo vandalism, flag copyright violations and check spelling.
They aren’t intended to work against each other.
A study found that bots are far more likely to argue than human editors on (the English) Wikipedia.
Bots meddled with each other’s changes on average 105 times a decade, compared to an average of three times for human editors.
The most contested articles were pages on former president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf, the Arabic language, Niels Bohr and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Of course, human editors give up. Bots do not.
A Tiff of Bots
Some pairs of Wikipedia bots spent years doing and undoing the same changes repeatedly.
Across some 1,800 articles, Scepbot reverted RussBot’s edits a total of 1,031 times, while RussBot returned the favor 906 times.
Another bot named after Tachikoma, the artificial intelligence in the Japanese science fiction series Ghost in the Shell, had a two year running battle with Russbot.
The two undid more than a thousand edits by the other on more than 3,000 articles ranging from Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign to the demography of the UK.
The singularity isn’t coming anytime soon.
Bots are still all too human.
Siobhan is a freelance writer, research addict and lover of twisted history. If you like horrible but amazing history, check out her website www.interesly.com or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/interesly. Or you can reach her through www.siobhanoshea.com.