A new Google patent and a Turing test for social media

Here is the latest:

It’s unlikely the majority of us are so overwhelmed with tweets, Facebook posts, emails and texts that we need someone – or something – to reply on our behalf.

However, this hasn’t stopped Google filing a patent for a system that would do just that.

According to the details of the latest patent filed by a software engineer at the firm, Google’s automated system would work like a social media bot and submit posts on a user’s behalf.

It would do this by scanning that user’s previous posts and replies on sites such as Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, as well as their emails and texts messages, to learn how that person writes.

The bot would then write replies and responses to future posts in a way that mimics that person’s usual language and tone.

The more a person uses the system, the more the bot can learn the type of responses they write and this would make the suggestions sound more human and realistic.

The full story is here.  Some of you will recall that I discuss this possibility in Average is Over, and consider an equilibrium where many people secede from email altogether and the value of face time rises.

For the pointer I thank the excellent Mark Thorson.


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