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  • Technology has brought us a lot of wonderful things, such as ordering a pizza with a single

  • button, or receiving text alerts -- about how close your pizza is.

  • However, not everything is sunshine and pizzas in the digital age.

  • Once upon a time, you could say with confidence that the person you were talking to is, well,

  • an actual person.

  • That's no longer the case as robocalls and chatbots, computer programs designed to simulate

  • human interaction over the phone or on the web, are more common than ever, and getting

  • more sophisticated every day.

  • If you want to know whether the person on the other end is flesh and blood, or silicon

  • and circuits, you'll want to hear about these five tricks for catching chatbots in the act.

  • Number One: The Account is too Active While you're poking around for your favorite

  • game, Pizza Master Pro, you notice one account seems to be posting quite a bit of content

  • in rapid succession.

  • While it's understandable that people would be enthused about the best pizza simulator,

  • twenty posts a day seems like a bit much.

  • They have to sleep at some point, right?

  • Not if theyre a bot.

  • They can post all night long.

  • My point is that since bots don’t need to sleep, they can spend all night spamming your

  • feed with suspiciously similar posts.

  • So, if one account is posting comments 24/7 365, you've probably got a bot on your hands.

  • While were on the subject of samey posts

  • Number Two: Suspiciously Similar Comments Not everyone has a direct line to the muses,

  • so maybe you shouldn’t be too harsh on people for leaning on the same old jokes.

  • It might get annoying, but it doesn’t mean theyre a machine.

  • Now, if theyre posting the exact same comment all the time and every single one has a link

  • to the same website, you probably have a bot on your hands.

  • An annoying bot, which is the worst kind; and I’m including the ones designed to steal

  • your credit card numbers.

  • Chatbots may be complicated machines, but theyre still just machines.

  • Creative thinking isn’t exactly their forte, or their pommel either.

  • And if you get that joke, you deserve a prize!

  • Bots pick words out of comments posted by real humans and run them through an algorithm

  • to select the appropriate response.

  • The complexity of the algorithms and number of responses will vary depending on the resources

  • available to whoever programmed it, but it doesn't take that much programming knowledge

  • to get a basic bot up and running.

  • This is easier to pull off in a text-based medium like Facebook, Reddit, or YouTube’s

  • comment section, but it can work over the phone too.

  • The weakness here is that there are only so many responses the programmer can plan for,

  • so a similar question or statement will usually result in an identical response.

  • This means that if you're ever not sure what you're dealing with, you can try asking them

  • a series of very similar questions.

  • If they respond with the same thing over and over again, and don't notice you're asking

  • slight variations on the same question, then you've got a bot in your chat.

  • Number Three: They Have Trouble Answering Simple Questions

  • Chatbots are pretty good at pulling trivia out of thin air.

  • They're basically just a search engine with delusions of humanity, so it would be pretty

  • embarrassing if a bot designed to pass as a human can be outsmarted by Siri or Google

  • voice.

  • Conversations are more than just listing facts and answering yes or no questions.

  • They require a little bit of common sense, a field that computers don't exactly excel

  • at.

  • Bots often don't know what to do with jokes and have no understanding of context or the

  • nuance of social interaction.

  • Sarcasm?

  • What’s that?

  • You can take advantage of this failing through a trick known asTwo Step Dissociation.”

  • This is where you ask the potential bot a question, then follow it up with a second

  • question that only makes sense in the context of the first.

  • When explaining this concept, digital marketing expert Anthony Helmstetter uses the following

  • example.

  • The human caller asks the bot where it’s located, and it replies, "Seattle."

  • The caller then asks, “What’s the weather like outside?” and the machine replies,

  • Can you please rephrase the question?”

  • A human would understand that the caller was asking what the weather was like in Seattle,

  • but the bot just can’t connect those dots.

  • If your customer service rep can’t make a simple connection like that, it probably

  • isn’t a real person on the other end.

  • On the subject of things that aren’t real people, why doesn’t Google’s voice have

  • a name?

  • Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft all named their digital assistants, so why not Google?

  • Don’t feel bad, Google voice, I think youre fantastic.

  • What about you, BrightSider?

  • Tell me in the comments if you prefer Siri, Alexa, Google, or Cortana when you need to

  • look something up, but don’t want to get your hands dirty on that filthy keyboard.

  • Number Four: Sparse Profiles Do you remember the first time you logged

  • into Facebook?

  • They wanted you to set a profile picture, a background picture, enter a birthday, job,

  • school, hometown, relationship status, and plenty of other things.

  • While not everyone fills out every single field, most people will at least cover the

  • basics.

  • Just enough for people to get an idea of who you are beyond the pictures of cats, eggs,

  • and cats in egg cartons.

  • That’s a real thing, by the way.

  • Since humans are big on oversharing, you can probably guess that bots aren’t that into

  • it.

  • Most websites that allow users to leave public comments require them to register an account.

  • Not every site expects a full bio, and not every person is willing to give it, but if

  • the account is nothing more than a name and placeholder profile pic than you might have

  • a bot on your hands.

  • While this might not be conclusive evidence, it’s a pretty big red flag.

  • If you notice a whole bunch of these barren accounts, that's a much bigger red flag.

  • In that case, you don’t just have one bot, you have an infestation.

  • You see, the automatic responses bots give out tend to be chock full of keywords.

  • Those keywords attract other bots, whose responses attract more bots.

  • This can lead to a feedback loop of automatic responses to automatic responses.

  • Even when things don’t escalate that far, bots still love to follow each other around.

  • Particularly nefarious programmers will go as far as creating bots specifically to upvote

  • the comments of their other bots.

  • So, if you ever see a bunch of incomplete accounts with obviously randomly generated

  • names are tagging each other’s Tweets, youve got yourself a flock of bots.

  • Number Five: Clumsy Attempts to Steer the Conversation

  • People don't just go around programming bots for the sake of it.

  • They serve a purpose.

  • Some are ads, some are scams, and some are there because even trolls need to get their

  • beauty sleep.

  • As a result, bots have something of a one-track mind and will continuously try to twist the

  • conversation around to whatever their programmer wants it to be.

  • This can overlap with its inability to read the room when they try to warp the discourse

  • in nonsensical ways.

  • What does laser hair removal have to do with the game review you just read?

  • Nothing.

  • Is there a paragraph-length comment raving about it?

  • You bet!

  • Users and moderators have gotten pretty good at spotting the clumsier attempts, but more

  • sophisticated bots can slip under the radar as long as no one looks too closely.

  • Still, a bot is a bot, and even when the programmers try to be subtle, they tend to fixate on one

  • topic exclusively.

  • While a clever bot might be able to slip past the casual observer, get them talking, and

  • it’s not long before their limitations start to show.

  • Hearing about all this, you might get the impression that all chatbots are bad.

  • That isn't the case, and many serve useful functions.

  • Customer service bots can be frustrating, but they can help troubleshoot problems that

  • don't require human intervention.

  • Robocalls can be a pain, but also serve essential purposes, such as appointment reminders and

  • emergency alerts.

  • Still, there are enough sneaky robots out there that it’s handy to know how to tell

  • a person from a machine.

  • Like me!

  • Ha ha ha.

  • Okay yes, I’m real.

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  • Just click to the left or right, and stay on the Bright Side of life!

Technology has brought us a lot of wonderful things, such as ordering a pizza with a single

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判斷你是否在和機器人哈拉的5種方法 (5 Ways to Tell If You're Chatting with a Bot)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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