Category Archives: discussion

Bots and Automation over Twitter during the U.S. Election

Bence Kollanyi, Philip N. Howard, and Samuel C. Woolley on Twitter bots and the 2016 election:

“We find that that political bot activity reached an all-time high for the 2016 campaign. (1) Not only did the pace of highly automated pro-Trump activity increase over time, but the gap between highly automated pro-Trump and pro-Clinton activity widened from 4:1 during the first debate to 5:1 by election day. (2) The use of automated accounts was deliberate and strategic throughout the election, most clearly with pro-Trump campaigners and programmers who carefully adjusted the timing of content production during the debates, strategically colonized pro-Clinton hashtags, and then disabled activities after Election Day.”

Robot War and the Future of Perceptual Deception

Post to BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh (July 5, 2016):

“…if, today, a truck can blend-in with the Florida sky, and thus fatally disable a self-driving machine, what might we learn from this event in terms of how to deliberately confuse robotic military systems of the future?….what is anti-robot architectural design, or anti-robot urban planning, and how could it be strategically deployed as a defensive tactic in war?”

On automated grading of Common Core essays

Valerie Strauss, “Should you trust a computer to grade your child’s writing on Common Core tests?Washington Post (May 5, 2016):

“Education activists are increasingly becoming concerned about the computer grading of written portions of new Common Core tests. Can a computer really grade written work as well as a human being? Here’s a piece on the issue by Leonie Haimson, a co-founder of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, a national alliance of parents and advocates defending the rights of parents and students to protect their data.”

Venice Biennale 2012: i-city / Russia Pavilion

Project description [click through for photos]: “A series of QR Codes wrap the inside of the Russia pavilion spaces, and all you can sense at first is light and space. At the entrance you are provided with a tablet, and you walk around the pavilion scanning these codes to obtain the information about Strolkovo.”

Rise of the Peñabots

From Luis Daniel, Points (Data & Society), “Rise of the Peñabots“:

“…Since then, the term Peñabot has evolved to have a variety of meanings. They are either automated software that requires no human intervention, low-wage workers paid by the government to operate multiple social media accounts (think Chinese 50 Cent Party), or even genuine supporters who are criticized for their mindless support of Peña Nieto (think Limbots or Obamabots). These first two applications of the term “bot” present a lot of ethical questions over the use of bots by the government.”