Tuesday, April 17, 2018

bots the matter with you?

breaking! this past week, it has been reported that yes, bots were on the rise again on twitter... except they weren't russian bots - this was the work of kean students!

and i'll be the first to admit that i think everyone did a great job with living double lives in their own twitter as both a tired, politically distraught student and a persistent, politically distraught bot! the purpose of the bots were to create conversation, but to ask the questions in a believably human-sounding way. the class did a great job of framing their questions and getting a few outsiders to comment! before we set the bots up, though, we did a test on Botometer to see if our twitter accounts were perceived to be people or bots... i wonder if our scores went up?

also, can you believe that he's not a bot? it's weird.

we also played the bot or not game on www.botpoet.com to get a feel for the potential for generative language for bots and how certain "real life" poetry can come across as robotic, repetitive, or seemingly randomly generated. i also wanted to point out that the bot poetry was a lot more poetic than some of the poems by real poets. in particular, the one bot poem "some men" was the best poem i saw come up by far:

"some men just want to watch the world burn
some men just want to watch the world learn
some men just want breakfast"

- generated by Every Google User using Google Predictive Search 

speaking of generative language & poetry, that leads us to our next and final adventure in #netnarr - electronic literature. i love e-lit, as its very engaging and new way for storytelling to come to life and to evoke new relationships between reader and text. the multimodality of electronic literature creates a new dynamic, and adds depth and color to stories by including audio, visual, video, navigational, interactive, and animated elements to the story that would otherwise be lost in traditional textual stories. additionally, e-lit is not just one thing - it can be many. for example, there's hypertext fiction, generative poetry, interactive fiction, netprovs, fanfiction, online roleplaying, ect. e-lit is only limited by the creator's imagination.

one of my favorites examples of e-lit (specifically generative poetry) is poem.exe, which creates haikues / short poems through randomized images, lines, and juxtapositions that are often beautiful and thought-provoking. the generated juxtaposition especially works with haikus because of the suddenness of subject change, which is important in creating a complex message and image that often stays with the reader long after they have read the poem.

can't wait to see what else is in store for us and teaching more people about the wonders of e-lit! super excited.

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