How to Know If You Are Interacting With a Bot

How to know if you are arguing with a bot

It is no secret that messaging platforms have a bot problem. While some of these programs will tell you upfront that you are interacting with a chatbot, others will try to fool you into thinking you are talking with a fellow human being.

While bots have become highly popular in certain fields such as customer care, as they can attend to customers tirelessly without much human input, not all bots are deployed for beneficial reasons. In some instances, people deploy them for mischievous reasons such as making fake Twitter or Facebook accounts to mislead people. So, how can you know if you are interacting with a bot?


In 2015, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), put up a contest to help people detect bots. The participants used five points to figure out whether they were dealing with bots or not.

Syntax
Though technological advancement has made it possible for machines to imitate human behavior, language is one of those few aspects bots have not yet mastered.

Normally, a close examination of a bot’s posts, comments, or responses will reveal its algorithmic logic which might include repetitive or formulaic responses. An easy way to know if you are talking to a bot is to tell a common joke, ask an unrelated question, or mention a current event and see how it responds. Normally, it will miss the drift of the conversation or suddenly change the subject.

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Profile
The user profile is one of the first places to look if you intend to keep out bots. At the most basic level, bots do not have a photo or bio. However, technological advancement and the ease of getting content online has made it possible for bots to steal images from the Internet and even generate genuine-looking biographies complete with username, location, educational, and work background. To avoid getting duped, conduct a photo and bio search, then compare the information uploaded to see if everything checks out.

Semantics
Normally, people create and deploy bots for a specific reason. This means that the bot will be obsessed with a specific topic such as porn or politics. Therefore, you are likely to notice a trail of similar content and links posted repeatedly.

Temporal behavior
You have heard of the ancient saying “Time Tells Everything”, right? This principle also applies when dealing with bots. Over time, you will notice that bots exhibit abnormal behavior in their posts, comments, or responses. In some instances, the speed at which the bot churns out content is what gives it away, in others, it’s the inconsistency of their attitude towards a topic over time.

 

Network
Checking out who follows or is followed by a specific user can tell you a lot about the account user. While bots may have many or just a handful of followers, you are likely to notice some inconsistencies between its followers and the bot’s thrust. In real life, we all know that humans are more likely to hang around like-minded people, right?

The above are some reliable hacks and tricks for knowing whether you are interacting with a bot and tricks on how to know if you are interacting with a bot or not. Mastering and practicing them daily will save you a lot of heartache.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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