Ah, the Twitters! A veritable playground of internet robots, who generated 24% of all Twitter content even way back in 2009. These robots are constantly trolling for humans with whom they might connect--to sell products, or perhaps event learn how to feel. In fact, your editor-in-chief has noticed--through volid investigations on Twitter--that the old twitterbots version 1.0 (which had obviously machine-generated profiles and would merely tweet hyperlinks at you) have been replaced by a second variety. These new bots have full profiles and tweet sentence-like messages that don't necessarily include hyperlinks to buy Nikes or Armani dresses or just incoherent nonsense. They're so much like us, and yet, something is not quite right. Let's take a look:
The Grid instead of in Wasilla...
Perhaps the common thread with all of these profiles is a set of nouns (lover, practitioner, entrepreneur, guru, specialist, practitioner, -aholic, nerd, geek, fanatic, enthusiast, advocate) and adjectives (devoted, hardcore, unapologetic, lifelong, infuriatingly humble, wannabe) that are recombined for the verisimilitude of a profile. The random nature of this computerized Mad Libs leads to self-descriptors like "Incurable bacon scholar" and my doubts about their humanity. But if the profiles follow this pattern, then what about the tweets themselves?
Bacon buff. Musicaholic. Zombie specialist. Unapologetic travel guru. Coffee lover. Friend of animals everywhere. Award-winning food scholar
— evelynsarah30 (@evelynsarah30) June 23, 2012
Unapologetic twitter advocate. Wannabe thinker. Avid web enthusiast. Hipster-friendly food practitioner. Lifelong internet trailblazer.
— cherylheidi55 (@cherylheidi55) June 23, 2012
Twitter evangelist. Professional entrepreneur. General music enthusiast. Future teen idol.Oh. Well then. It's just the same formula, repeated forever. Though your editor-in-chief is fairly certain that he has met some wannabe thinkers who were also unapologetic advocates of Twitter and practitioners of hipster-friendly food in North Brooklyn, these tweets still reveal the fundamentally artificial nature of the user. Wait--you have something to say, Gary Michael?
— GraceNatasha (@gracenatasha239) June 25, 2012
I liked a @YouTube video from @uberhaxornova youtu.be/inSIwmvSFHg?a Minecraft: Quad Mountain Survival w/Nova Ep.46Oh no! Gary "liked" a YouTube video of someone playing Minecraft via an über-haxor? We're doomed! If the machines can mimic human traits in our society, then it really will turn out like Battlestar Galactica or Terminator. Your editor-in-chief, however, is a survivor--if the machines can blend in with us, then he will blend in with the machines.
— GaryMichael (@garymichael7411) June 25, 2012