Lab #12

This lab opened my eyes to the possibilities of automated responses. To me, it acted like a messaging machine which could decide how to answer certain questions. Quite frankly, its kind of scary as well. Obviously the code we worked with is a very elementary version of what is possible with this code but knowing just how automated and personalized you can get with this type of coding brings up certain questions of authorship on the internet.

I remember back in Jr. High when everyone had AIM, there were automated bots such as this which would carry conversations with you. That said, everyone knew these were bots that you were having conversations with so on some level, it was fun and ok. But what scares me is the possibility now of much more intricate programs acting in place of people on the internet (an example I think of is tech support over a messaging client). How can we tell that the people we are chatting with are real? Sure they have names but their answers to my tech questions could simply be automated; giving the apparition of life.

In further regards to authorship, would we necessarily know if interactions we have over the internet via twitter facebook etc are real? These programs could simply act as information gathering devices that aggregate personal information on you and (potentially) use it against you. Programs like Python are fun and innovative but can act as the gateway between the human and the computer.

My Python Code

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