We live in a strange time, AI’s are learning to play hide and seek, Robots a learning to dance, and for several month a billboard top song involved a line about a Gucci cowboy hat. The New Yorker cartoon by Peter Steiner published in 1993 said “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”, in 2019 the internet is mostly bots.

As The Atlantic puts it “Most website visitors aren’t humans, but are instead bots—or, programs built to do automated tasks. They are the worker bees of the internet, and also the henchmen. Some bots help refresh your Facebook feed or figure out how to rank Google search results; other bots impersonate humans and carry out devastating DDoS attacks.”

The reality is on the internet, at this point everyone looks like a bot now. Authenticity is already becoming a currency and it will increase, but some online platforms are making it harder to find. YouTube for example at one moment, probably due to drug use, thought it would be a good idea to unverify a bunch of users. They reversed that decision in under 24 hours.

It’s not just hackers and scrapers, that make up bots, a study conducted by University of Southern California and Indiana University said that between 9% and 15% of Twitter accounts are non-human. Researchers point out that those figures don’t included sophisticated bots they haven’t detected yet. So on the internet nobody knows you’re real.

Someone described the personal friend, saying “By most metrics people look for, like having only a partial photo of her face for a profile pic, having a disproportionately high number of retweets to original tweets, few followers and interactions with just a small handful of accounts, she looks fake. She’s not. She’s part of, if not the majority on twitter, at least a healthy normal subset of users. I’ve been shocked by the number of times I’ve had real conversations with accounts that set off the same “this is a bot” alarm bells as Kelby.”

We have a lot of modern concerns like Facebook, Google and Twitter changing the outcome of elections. But we will have a harder and harder time knowing when we are being manipulated. Some are upset Facebook will not fact check politicians. Other are upset that platforms like Facebook have so much importance in the first place.

It is simply exhausting to think about how much time we are all spenting not knowing when the person you’re speaking to is a bot, troll or political agency. Facebook is an error in human programing, in another world we would have flying cars. We are like the AI playing hide and seek, we will try a lot of stupid things, before we get it right.

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