I'm now going to login to AOL to find a broadcaster bot:
Bluej1mmy: 18/f/hot pics ... come to my homepage: Pics.here.ws
This bot is simply broadcasting a message to the AOL Town Square chat room "Lobby 3." The problem with this simple bot implementation is that Blue Jimmy's account describes a man. When I click on Bluej1mmy's profile, I see that Jimmy lives in San Diego, Calif., and is male.
Sadly this tells us a story. Jimmy's account was probably hacked into and now is being used to launch a bot to broadcast links. This is a common phenomenon. The more accounts an unscrupulous person steals, the more broadcaster bots this person can use to increase his or her click-through revenue.
Obviously Jimmy is a very unsophisticated broadcaster bot. His only ability is to announce himself as a hot 18-year-old female.
Let's try to find a more sophisticated broadcaster like the Amy bot:
Da1hotgurl06: whats the best chat room u think
Da1hotgurl06: did i tell you guys i have cancun pics
Da1hotgurl06: hey Tara, wassup!!! 2004 McKneeland HS cheerleaders!
Da1hotgurl06: well today is a great day isnt it
Well we found one. This hot girl is just chatting it up. Letting everyone know she has Cancun pics and is a cheerleader. She even recognizes an imaginary friend in the chat room when she says "Hey Tara." Hot Gurl was so convincing that a real person asked her a question while I was in the room:
Lstboy17: dahotgurl, are you a cheerleader?
Hopefully for the operators of Hot Gurl, Lost Boy will message her, and she will lure him to a website in the same way Amy attempted to do with me.
This brings us to the two rules of chat room bots. The first rule is that the success of chat room bots is based on how much they appear to be a desirable human being. The more desirous your bot is, the more people your bot will be able to advertise to.
The second rule of chat room bots is that a bot's success is based on its ability to disguise itself as a bot. Even if your bot has a profile of a beautiful woman or man, if the bot has an obvious screen name or cannot hold intelligent conversation, you will lose customers to other bots and real people in the chat room that compete for the attention of your potential customers.
There are many chat room bot software companies. For instance, a very advanced Yahoo bot can be obtained here.
If you are more of an AOL person, there is a very sophisticated bot you can download at this site.
If you are theoretically bent in your interest in bots, visit ALICE — the Artificial Intelligence Foundation, at www.alicebot.org. This company approaches bot research more from a purely theoretical perspective, preparing for the day when software bots will be performing tasks like sales and even customer support.
Regardless of whether you love or hate chat room bots, they are here to stay. Today there are sometimes as many bots in chat rooms as real people. The art of chatting online now is learning how to avoid bots. Our last example will be a broadcaster bot that has brilliantly capitalized on this frustrating situation for Internet users:
SEX GIRL 2BLOW U: That looks like something a BOT might say
SEX GIRL 2BLOW U: Everyone click Notify AOL and we'll get that BOT kicked out
SEX GIRL 2BLOW U: Doesn't anyone report the BOTS in this room?
SEX GIRL 2BLOW U: Stupid BOT keeps scrolling!
SEX GIRL 2BLOW U: That is obviously a BOT
A bot is made popular because it hates other bots. For Sex Girl and her owners, the art of war is indeed the art of deception. She proves a clever chat angle can always beat out the most sophisticated software. Like a politician railing against politics, Sex Girl's following should only grow, as will the sophistication and sheer number of fellow bots that she will be competing with in the future.
As is the case with all youth though, Sex Girl and her fellow bots are destined to grow up. Artificial intelligence software is now evolving quickly in the direction of natural language communication. In the future, don't be surprised to find these lovely bots performing first-line medical diagnostics, technical support, or even psychology — tasks not inherently more difficult to program than their current amorous online duties.
James Edwards is an independent Oracle software developer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.