Classical AI methods are put to good use in Twitter global warming debates
Writing code for a twitter bot has seen many inanimate objects contribute their own particular stream of consciousness to the Twitter hive – mind. Utilising a method once heralded as the best means to achieve artificial intelligence, Nigel Leck has designed a twitterbot to counter the global warming deniers inhabiting Twitter. The bot scans the feed every five minutes for contentious statements that match the typical global warming sceptic stance and fires back a response.
Those responses are pulled from a database of hundreds of responses that the software matches up to the argument made by the original tweeter. Those who claim the entire solar system is warming are met with something like: “Sun’s output has barely changed since 1970 & is irrelevant to recent global warming” followed by a link to corresponding scientific research.
Alas some of the unavoidable human computer communication breakdowns still plague the AI_AGW bot: it hurriedly rushes to defend the evidence against users simply posting innocuous remarks about the weather or sarcastic ripostes to climate change deniers. All the same this bot highlights the frenetic pace of thought exchange on Twitter, the scope for automated intervention into highly charged debates and illustrates that the (admittedly dubious) Turing Test of intelligence might find more forgiving terrain within the digital environs of Twitter.