Critters in the cyberecology.

A few weeks ago, I discovered the curious existence of bots on Twitter. I can’t remember how I first found the literary bot @YouAreCarrying, but since then I’ve discovered a few more and followed them.

I distinctly recall thinking, when I first encountered those literary bots: “Oh wow, critters! Animals set loose in the online ecology! How adorable, and how discombobulating.” (Of course, not all Twitterbots are adorable. But the literary ones are so fascinating, and definitely a source of creative inspiration.)

It got me looking up Twitterbots and chatterbots, and I discovered that this technology has been around for a while. It’s a bit discombobulating indeed, to think that automated scripts can take on their own life, independent of their creators. And eventually, surely their creators would forget their existence. And yet these bots would continue to “live”, to exist in cyberspace. Detritus? or animals in their own ecology?

Fascinating. I’ll be watching the evolution of bots from now on.

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