The unpredictability of bots

I recently made a Mastodon bot that didn’t really turn out how I expected. My goal was for it to be a bit cheeky, by being a bot who poses as a scholar. That’s not how it comes across. Rather, it presents itself as pedantic and over-confident. I suppose I could tweak it to make it more what I wanted. But I think it is unexpectedly interesting as it is.

The bot’s posts are written by code, and the curious thing about code is that it is often very deterministic and very unpredictable. One reason that code can be so unpredictable is because, as humans, we have trouble reasoning like computers, so we’re surprised by some of the weird things they produce. That is part of the joy of bots. They say some weird stuff.

So I don’t particularly like the personality of my bot, but I’m going to leave it as it is. It shows how hard it is to think like a computer does.

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