@AI_AGW Twitter Chatbot Argues with Global-Warming Deniers Automatically


Image: Twitter screen grab
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Nigel Leck got tired of arguing with people skeptical about global warming science. Noticing that most of them used the same debunked arguments over and over again, he decided to make a Twitter chatbot to answer them automatically. The bot is named @AI_AGW (the photo is of HAL 9000's camera-eye), and every 5 minutes it searches the twitterverse for debunked arguments. When it finds one, it sends a reply with a link to a source that explains the counter-argument.
Image: Twitter screen grab

So far the bot has made almost 40,000 tweets, though not all of them to climate skeptics. Now that the bot is better known, lot of people are testing it just for fun.

Leck says that the bot is still a work in progress, learning from its mistakes:

Leck always apologizes when AI_AGW answers someone who isn't actually arguing about the science of climate change and then subsequently whitelists his or her account. The bot also has a kind of learning algorithm in it in that can be trained not to respond to phrases that cause false positives.

In the future, Leck would like to expand AI_AGW by giving it the ability to learn new arguments from the twitter feeds of others who debate climate skeptics - allowing it to argue into the ground an ever expanding array of anti-science tweeters who are unwilling or unable to look up the proper scientific literature themselves. (source)

It's a cool concept, but I can easily see how it could be abused. Next we'll have a bot that argues that global warming is just a big made-up conspiracy, and then the two bots will argue with each other eternally, or until one of them crashes.

Via Twitter, Technology Review
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