Delivered 2018-12-12 at APIDays Paris, Paris, France





Prepared Talk








.NOTE: This is a reprise of a talk I delivered at WebExpo 2018*


Bots are becoming more and more prevalent on the Internet. The power of "Internet Robots" runs from simple web crawlers to dependable assistants to curious creatures trying to learn and grow on their own. The promise of 'bots is that they willfree humans to focus on more important and interesting things. But most online bots require lots of investment in design, implementation, and maintenance. Some even require human "trainers" to ensure they continue to operate properly. And some clearly don’t "operate properly" when left to fend for themselves against humans and other 'bots on the 'net. So are bots a good thing or not?

In this lively talk, Mike Amundsen touches on the history of software bots from Liza and Parry to Clippy and MOMSpider to Siri, chatbots and more. We’ll explore both learning and non-learning machines and discuss the different ways in which machines can "learn" including the difference between "specialized" and "generalized" AI.

Finally, we’ll review the challenges to 'bots on the 'net including shortcomings in AI and learning, inbuilt and acquired bias, truth, trust, and security, and the effects 'bots will have on jobs and the economy. Through it all we’ll be looking at what the future holds for both humans and machines when we live in a world of 'bots on the 'net.

Mike Amundsen

Lead API Architect, API Academy, CA/Broadcom

An internationally known author and lecturer, Mike Amundsen travels throughout the world consulting and speaking on a wide range of topics including distributed network architecture, Web application development, and other subjects.

In his role of Director of Architecture for the API Academy, Amundsen heads up the API Architecture and Design Practice in North America. He is responsible for working with companies to provide insight on how best to capitalize on the myriad opportunities APIs present to both consumers and the enterprise.

Amundsen has authored numerous books and papers on programming over the last 15 years. His collaboration with Leonard Richardson titled "RESTful Web APIs" was published in 2013. His 2011 book, “Building Hypermedia APIs with HTML5 and Node”, is an oft-cited reference on building adaptable Web applications. O’Reilly Media released his latest book - "RESTful Web Clients" in March of 2017.


Below is a list of references used to build this talk:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racter

  2. https://www.futilitycloset.com/2012/08/15/racter/

  3. http://www.101bananas.com/poems/racter.html

  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA

  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Weizenbaum

  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test

  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karel_%C4%8Capek

  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.U.R.

  9. http://preprints.readingroo.ms/RUR/rur.pdf

  10. https://www.16best.net/blog/chatbots-gone-wild/

  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing

  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Fair_Lady_(film)

  13. https://hci.stanford.edu/winograd/shrdlu/

  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHRDLU

  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MicroWorlds

  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Colby

  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PARRY

  18. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/when-parry-met-eliza-a-ridiculous-chatbot-conversation-from-1972/372428/

  19. https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc439

  20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tay_(bot)

  21. https://www.theverge.com/2016/3/24/11297050/tay-microsoft-chatbot-racist

  22. https://www.research.ibm.com/5-in-5/ai-and-bias/

  23. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2018/08/13/bias-is-ais-achilles-heel-heres-how-to-fix-it/#19b5ae7c6e68

  24. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selection_bias

  25. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion

  26. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Kahneman

  27. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200306/our-brains-negative-bias

  28. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negativity_bias

  29. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/the-man-who-would-teach-machines-to-think/309529/

  30. https://thebestschools.org/magazine/limits-of-modern-ai/

  31. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Norvig

  32. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MowergwQR5Y

  33. https://medium.all-turtles.com/the-turing-test-is-tired-its-time-for-ai-to-move-on-8d636ce50795

  34. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/10/opinion/sunday/youtube-politics-radical.html

  35. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeynep_Tufekci

  36. https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/22/check-now-to-see-if-you-liked-any-russian-troll-accounts-on-facebook/

  37. https://armedservices.house.gov/news/press-releases/stefanik-introduces-artificial-intelligence-legislation

  38. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201719/ldselect/ldai/100/100.pdf

  39. https://www.aiforhumanity.fr/

  40. https://futureoflife.org/ai-policy-united-nations/