Suspicious likes lead to researcher lighting up a 22,000-strong botnet on Twitter

Botnets are fascinating to me. Who creates them? What are they for? And why doesn't someone delete them? The answers are probably less interesting than I hope, but in the meantime I like to cheer when

Customer service bot startup Agent IQ announces $6.3 million Series A led by Sierra Ventures

Funding Recap crunchbase Lyft San Francisco, California / Founded 2012 Lyft is a fast growing ridesharing company in the U.S.

Customer service bot startup Agent IQ announces $6.3 million Series A led by Sierra Ventures

If you’ve tried to deal with a bot before you can speak to a human customer service rep, you know how frustrating that process can sometimes be. Sure, there are basic tasks that can free up a hu

Stealth Security reels in $8 million investment from Shasta Ventures to root out bad bots

We live in world where bots are operating all over the internet. Like Glinda in the Wizard of Oz asking Dorothy if she is a good witch or a bad witch, network admins simply want to determine if a bot

Twitter updates total of Russia-linked election bots to 50,000

Twitter has provided updated details on its investigation into Russian election interference on its platform in 2016. Its identification of more than 13,000 more Russian-linked bots that made election

Peer-to-peer real estate marketplace Homie wants to replace your realtor with a bot

Just a few weeks ago I was in Utah for the holidays, spending time with the many family members my husband and I both have there. At one family gathering, a cousin began talking about how he bought a

This bot unrolls Twitter threads and turns them into readable blog posts

For as much as its users love to hate on their platform of choice, Twitter occasionally really comes through with a deep dive on a hot topic that provides actual, meaningful insight. Such an event is

Lea’s live event assistant for Messenger makes buying tickets easier

Buying event tickets online isn't a great experience. Sites like Ticketmaster are the default, but are difficult to use and expensive. A startup called Lea wants to offer a more modern experience by c

Ello’s spam problem

Remember Ello? I recently wrote about this social networking site's comeback. Since then, a handful of you have pinged me about its spam bot problem. Just yesterday, another person came forward to tel

Google’s chatbot analytics platform Chatbase launches to public

At Google I/O this year, Google quietly introduced a new chatbot analytics platform called Chatbase, a project developed within the company’s internal R&D incubator, Area 120. Today, that pl

Study: Russian Twitter bots sent 45k Brexit tweets close to vote

Research conducted by a group of data scientists looking at how information was diffused on Twitter around the June 2016 EU referendum vote suggests more than 150,000 Russian accounts were involved in

AI pioneer Chris Boos talks about the future of machine learning

This week on Technotopia I talk to Chris Boos, the creator of a bot that can play FreeCiv, a Civilization clone. His solution demonstrates the power of machine learning and, wildly, has beaten multipl

Salesforce to offer more customized AI with myEinstein

It’s been justĀ over a year since Salesforce introduced Einstein, a set of artificial intelligence technologies that are designed to underlie and enhance the Salesforce product set. Today, at Dr

Bot-hunting Twitter bot sniffs out bogus political tweets

If you’ve ever wondered if the hashtag heavy, politically far afield Twitter user you’re about to eviscerate in 140 characters is totally delusional or merely not quite sentient, well, won

Apple acqui-hired the team from messaging assistant to work on Siri

Earlier this week, a small startup called announced that it soon would be discontinuing its service — a smart assistant for customer representatives to parse and get better insights from

Researcher Emilio Ferrara talks about the rise of fake news and botnets

Emilio Ferrara has been thinking about botnets for over a decade. As the first social networks climbed out of the mire, he noticed that they were very easy to game. Now, it seems, all of those early t

Researchers find that Twitter bots can be used for good

According to Emilio Ferrara, a USC Information Sciences Institute researcher, not all Twitter bots are born bad. He should know. Ferrara created a “large-scale experiment designed to analyze the

To chat or not to chat? Shakespeare has the answer to your question

Chatbots are vying to become one of the cornerstones of the messaging world: using AI tools like natural language and machine learning, developers are hoping to tap into the popularity of chat apps as

Twitter has a big bot problem

Twitter bots – robots that interact with humans – have a long history. The Twitter API is fairly easy to use (I made a bot that plays Zork with a friend two years ago) and there is little is shutting down Bot Engine as Facebook rolls NLP into its updated Messenger Platform announced this morning in a blog post that it would be sunsetting its Bot Engine. The Facebook-owned company builds developer tools for natural language processing to help engineers build speec
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