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Mother Hen Bot – Assignment #3

The creation of social media bots is an ongoing movement where anyone is capable of developing a working AI that was meant to roam and interact on the Internet. These bots could come straight out of fiction or be a rendition of a fictional character from a novel or film.

As Rob Dubbin mentioned from his article, “The Rise of Twitter Bots,” Twitter bots are contributors to the worlds of APIs and AIs. Dubbin defined these bots to be openly developed in laboratories from creative minds with programming background that has the power to make bots good or evil. The movement of Twitter Bots is like a community garden, anyone are welcomed to plant bots with a Twitter account by using their knowledge of APIs and programming in order to run in the Internet.

From my previous Twitter bot, I based it off from a fictional character in which I choreographed a small digital puppet show for it to appear realistic. Generally, IFTTT recipes were used for this bot to tweet out content that related to his interests and personality.

For this assignment I decided to develop a fictional Twitter bot that has the personalities and functionality of a “mother hen,” based on a small brief that outlined the bot’s features and purpose. Overall, the bot would act overly caring, very protective, and worries over the user until he or she no longer follows it. The purpose of this assignment was to project a sense of awareness on how humans relied on technology to the point we programmed them to be living secretaries, friends, or spouses. We’re constantly having the “need” to have something reminding us about events, appointments, meetings, deadlines, etc.

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Mother Hen is just a small prototype that does simple tasks where society is highly depended on a daily bases.

For example, this bot would tweet out the weather of a particular location on a scheduled time.

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This IFTTT recipe sends out a tweet everyday at 6 AM tells today’s weather condition at specific location.

 

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Result to Weather IFTTT recipe.

Another feature would be tweeting out customized “welcoming tweets” whenever a new follower followed the bot.

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Whenever Mother Hen gets a new follower, this IFTTT recipe sends out a tweet.

 

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Results to “Welcome” IFTTT recipe.

In addition to tweeting out messages that are set on a timer or schedule according to the developer.

Weekend Reminder:

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Go Eat Reminder:

breakfast_ifttt

Breakfast Tweet Reminder as an IFTTT recipe.

*Breakfast Tweet was overwritten by another recipe. But currently is working.

lunch_ifttt

Lunch Tweet Reminder as an IFTTT recipe.

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dinner_ifttt

Dinner Tweet Reminder as an IFTTT recipe.

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Stay Productive Reminder:

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Even though these features were created as recipes from IFTTT, there was the usage of basic JavaScript programs that were controlled through a command line. For instance, fileBot.js was used to send out a text file that contained encouraging, empowering, or “good day,” quotes. Eventually, these tweets are posts manually through a command line or through a remote server following a scheduled time.

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Manually commanding fileBot.js through Git Bash.

 

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Result to JavaScript file from Git Bash.

Since uploading fileBot.js to Heroku is the text file no longer needed to be manually activate through a command line in order for the JavaScript to work. While using, Heroku, fileBot.js would continue uploading quotes from my text file at a particular schedule in which was coded into the JavaScript.

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Testing out with Heroku server.

 

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Final results of fileBot.js working through Heroku.

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Updating setInterval from fileBot.js for Mother Hen to tweet out quotes every 3 hours per day.

Furthermore, from what I’ve learned about Twitter bots and Twitter, this particular project is very opened and popular through the programming and developing community. Twitter does offer a lot of freedom to its followers and developers when creating artistic and interactive content on their site’s server. From Dubbin statement, eventually, these bots are just another remembrance on how they’re a great for wasting time and “omnipresent surveillance.”

 

 

“Her” – Overview

Since growing up into a culture of action-suspenseful sci-fi films, the typical theme on how the human race is placed in the middle of a movement where robots or artificial intelligences would become a part of our lives. The traditional mindset of robots either being our slaves to satisfy our wants and needs or where a company or secret organization developed a machine that goes into a man-killing rampage. However, when the technology world goes beyond the barrier of reality and fantasy, programmers to engineers produced modern-day devices that resembled themselves as robots or artificial intelligences.

After watching the movie, “Her” by Spike Jonze, as the audience, the plot of this modern day sci-fi was focusing on a sensitive and soulful writer, named Theodore, who later on built an “interesting” relationship with an operating system named Samantha. Like today’s sci-fi films, there wasn’t the cliché-terminating robot or a community of robots rebelling against the human race, but these OS’s preferred to live one with humans as whole. However, this trend of robots and humans becoming friends, or in this film’s case, lovers, the bond between humans and artificial intelligences isn’t well developed to maintain a bond over friendship or love. Unlike typical romantic or good-buddy films, these two worlds do collide, but ended before the story is finished. In other words, Theodore and Samantha ended up separating from each other because their worlds are completely different and their bond isn’t practical for a “healthy” relationship. Despite the bittersweet relationship between Theodore and Samantha, their unique bond was close being to be forbidden or abnormal.

Theodore waiting for OS to work

When Samantha and the other operating systems decided to leave, the movement had established this sense of evolution on how both humans and artificial intelligence developed dependence and independence among each other. Furthermore, these aspects would question on how well and strong does the human race trust and relate to robots or artificial intelligence. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution came to mind to illustrate if one-day bionics would walk among humans and it’s decedents.

Expanding on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

From a segment of a Radio Lab podcast, the episode focused on interaction and relationship on individuals or communities that grew fond with robots and computers. In other words, these various individual tend to later on describe these technological devices to be more humans than machines. For instance, the Radio Lab crew interviewed a man named, Robert Epstein, who didn’t realize he’d fallen in love with a virtual booth while dating it online. A contrast to how Theodore viewed Samantha. When Theodore first met his new operating system, he knew Samantha was just an artificial intelligence, but, he didn’t know how advance Samantha was to be capable of “adapting” to the human lifestyle where she slowly reprogrammed herself to become more human.

Citation:

“Talking to Machines.” Radio Labs. WNYC Radio, 31 May 2011. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

HER. Dir. Spike Jonze. Perf. Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. DVD.

 

 

 

JavaScript Exercise

For this brief Javascript exercise, I played around with several pieces of text by calculating the Flesch-Kincaid reading level. For instance, the following texts are either written essays from different grade levels or comparisons of other literature based on popularity and the time period of when it was written. Overall, this short overview given out numeric results that indicated how readable the text is in a specific reading group; which ranges from at least eleven year old students to university graduates.

To start off, I have chosen my sister’s recent narrative in which she had to produce for her English class based on a given topic. I ended comparing it off with two essays I’ve written from my first year in college. Overall, I typed out all the needed data in my chosen terminal program; Git Bash, and plugged in the right command line to perform the task.

papers_flesch_index

Calculating Flesch-Kincaid reading level with school papers through Git Bash, node.js and flesch.js

As a result, I first started off calculating my sister’s narrative, “Memory of a Monster” and the test calculated it to be 84 in the Flesch Index. According to the scale, 84 is an easy readability level where at least an eleven-year-old student could manage to read. A contrast to the short narrative would be my two college essays, “Bernd And Hilla Becher” and “Art Technology Midterm Paper” which fallen into the same scale of 50-53. While going in depth with the numbers, the essays are fairly difficult and a high school senior is still capable to read them. Overall, these two papers were a few increments close to be difficult to read.

Lastly, for fun, I picked two well-known literatures and compared them of what their Flesch-Kincaid reading level would be. For example, “The Great Gastby” had at least a 68 Flesch index while the first book of the “Harry Potter” series was scaled to a 75. Both novels either scaled between being having a standard or fairly easy readability level.

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Calculating Flesch-Kincaid reading level with famous literature through Git Bash, node.js and flesch.js

Furthermore, whenit came to literature and translating this particular experience on how words can benefit from searching specific information just by developing a program that does it for you. The effort on experimenting this concept was reflected by James Pennebaker during his TED talk on “The Secrets of Pronouns.” By going back to the idea of having this formula, which calculates your reading level just from the library of vocabulary a reader or writer, might know.

 

 

Week 9 Assignment Summary

For this week, I mainly worked on fixing up my group’s Twitter for our prototype. We eventually narrowed down our list of potential names and we picked “Brain Stream.” Down below is a preview of my group’s prototype Twitter:

brain-stream-twitter-preview

I designed the logo on Illustrator with the help of group members generating the visual concept of our Twitter profile photo. I took their idea of using a brain symbol and wifi icon, and put them together. This concept was meant to illustrate a brain sending out “thought waves” instead. Lastly, I decided to upload an image of brain waves for the header photo in order to maintain constancy with our concept.

As for the rest of group, Anthony managed to get the Google Talk to Text API working on Processing and it’s officially sending out tweets to our prototype’s Twitter. Alex wrote a short transcript for the small narration of our video and as well providing her voice for narration. And lastly, Siera helped write up the overview of our assignment that discussed about our prototype and process.

Week 7 Reading – APIs

In this week’s reading, “Objects of Intense Feeling: The Case of the Twitter API,” by Taina Bucher, it mainly discussed about the growing movement of APIs. From how the social networking phenomenon started to how it changed the culture, politics, and business of applying this “tools” online.

To start off, Bucher introduced how social media became more than online services for entertainment, communication and productivity. Bucher reflected on how communities and individuals rely on Facebook and Twitter as an everyday source. As she stated we “live and breathe” with these services. She even stated how these services expanded from household names to actual spaces where people occupy and socialize.

“We live and breathe social media, as services like Facebook and Twitter have not only become household names, but something like actual households themselves – places people choose to live and socialize.”

However, these “places” contained various data that could either be beneficial or harmful to the public to obtain or know. According to Bucher, social media can also be tools that can be utilized by the use of APIs (application programming interfaces).

To move onto the movement on how Twitter APIs became popular in the technology world, it gave growth to how programming became a form of art where communities exchanged codes rather than keeping the tools for themselves. When Bucher discussed about how Twitter was freely given to the public; mostly third party developers, she emphasized on how these individuals or business can build products around their main tweeting system. Though it was a simple offer by Twitter, the social network was taking a risky on giving out interfaces that would lead to collect data being either be used for good or be abused.

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The developers that Bucher interviewed gave an inside perspective on how these API’s were providing those who were very fluent and not so fluent in coding a chance to work on services that wouldn’t be possible without the API. It gave people a chance to just ‘open up’ what was given to them, play around with what it could do and create something entirely different from what Twitter gave them access too.

Though it became a fun way for some people to make better services for Twitter, even one that utilized a better search engine that lead to Twitter buying the company and hiring the programmers, Twitter still has the upper hand no matter who is using the API. It was very open and free when Twitter initially launched their API. But, by 2011 they had a much stricter rule set for developers using the API. Bucher mentions Jacob’s case as being one that results from the developers not being able to continue developing with Twitter because features they need access to were being denied.

“I’m no longer interested in contributing anything to Twitter’s API. Their hostile stance toward developers like me has been very discouraging, not to mention costly – they killed my business; it has cost me many thousands of dollars.”

APIs continued to have a focus on being future oriented and a part of the Silicon Valley ‘entrepreneurial mindset,’ while the companies that own these APIs have the final say on how they can be used and how they can be used for the companies’ advantage. By looking at the API as a quasi-object there is a lot of power it has over how we navigate websites and applications in the future. At her conclusion, Bucher says we should look at the API as a governing technique in the current state of the social web.

“While there is nothing wrong with using APIs to collect data, of course, researchers should be wary about letting any current obsessions with big data overshadow the fact that APIs are far from neutral tools.”

According to Bucher there seems to be protocols, which APIs follow or are designed by in order to fulfill its main purpose. Their main purpose is to share content and data online from one computer or device to another. Like from Jer Thorp’s blog post, “Art and the API,” he reflected how APIs are like bridges for letting computers communicate with one another, regardless of what operating system they have.

As recalled, APIs contributed to a cultural phenomenon that would affect society’s political and business spectrum when using APIs for collecting data. What kind of data or information? In a political example, from Thorp’s post, he acknowledged Josh Begley; a data artist, who developed an API that allowed access to information on every US drone strike from using data from The Bureau for Investigative Journalism. As a result, Begley used these data to develop “Dronestream,” an app with a Twitter API that streamed every US drone attack. Overall, journalists can utilize this app for feeding off stories relating to this controversial topic.

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By expanding on Josh Begley’s app, beside collected data, there would be the possibility of a list of drone strikes that can give out personal information about those who were killed. Thorp reflected how a single information can evolve into something else that wasn’t expected.

Looking at the examples presented by Thorp it shows the many ways in which artists are exploring APIs. The ways in which they are used can help us think about the projects we’re working on in this class and beyond it by taking advantage of the technical use and creating a conceptual meaning out of it.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever created or used an API? If so, what was it and why? If not, would you consider in developing one and what will it be?
  2. Do you think its right for companies to use API as a source for free labor?
  3. Would you consider using an API if you know one day the company that owns the API may make it impossible for you to continue using it?
  4. Should the rules regarding API follow an open source mentality and be more in favor of the developers using APIs?
  5. Do you think social media will change if developers aren’t too restricted in the rules for using the API?
  6. If an API policy changes, would you alter your project to fit those parameters or let your project remain a part of the past?
  7. Where do you see API usage a decade from now?

 

Google Diet Mini-Report

After trying out this exercise, I grew to realize that Google can be the mysterious street dealer offering you illegal content or that annoying fallen angel tempting you to commit a sin. What do these two have in coming? They drew you into temptation, hovering over you until they get what they want. Sounds dramatic and scary, but, it seems a bit too real to be living in a world where technology is definitely a part with our lives. So to narrow down my amount of temptation, I decided to find a creative method in order to remind myself to stay away from Google for at least one week. That’s when I thought of a quick design to use a wallpaper for my phone. I realized I will be looking at a lot of screens every day, why not let my phone give me a little reminder of what not to do for one week. Sounds a bit childish, but, it was somewhat helpful.

For one week, I tried to stay away from YouTube, regardless if it’s for entertainment or find sources for presentations. To illustrate this, I had to dig around Bing; instead of using Google Search, when it came to looking for videos for my animation presentation for a class. What I have noticed, even though it was a different search engine, Bing categorized, it’s videos from content posted from YouTube to other video social networks. It’s like Google asked Bing to display their services first before the others. However, I end up choosing Vimeo or Dailymotion as my resources.

Overall, while growing up with Google, it somehow became another limp for society to use and live with. Maybe Social Networks or services like Google could become the “other parent” for an individual to interact with. In other words, besides our parents, educational figures; i.e. teachers, and the Media to influence us, online services can be next.

Assignment 1 – Fictional Character

When it came to conducting an experiment that required a fictional character to be the launch pad of your exercise, it took some research and role-playing in order to illustrate an illusion as if the character was real. The purpose of Exercise #3 was to interview a fictional character and design a way to project content online in which displayed the character’s interests and personalities. Overall, it felt like putting on a small digital “puppet show” for a virtual audience to see. The interviewer was the puppeteer where he or she incorporated information from an interview as if they it was the performance and a social network platform was the stage.

Fred is an energetic science geek and comic book fanatic that studied at a university in the fictional city, San Fransokyo. From the interview, the various questions were categorized in a way to simply ask the interviewee a little information about himself. For example, “What’s your occupation?” or “Do you still go to school?” These two questions are examples that helped keep the interview flowing smoothing.

With the interview as a source of guidance, establishing at least one social network account could form a pathway for the character to become alive. In other words, the experimenter used his or her subject to interact with the world, in this case, the Internet. For example, Twitter would provide a smooth connection when using IFTTT recipes. The following recipes that were used to illustrate Fred were helpful to showcase his interests and personalities. Mainly his Twitter page dealt with online shopping for monster action figures and technology from Best Buy or eBay to news alerts or discussions about superheroes from reddit.

In spite of concluding this experiment to be fun, there were several elements that taught others how significant it was when it came to developing “robotic” accounts in order to illustrate an illusion on how any form of artificial intelligent can magically use APIs; application programming interfaces. From Sherry Turkle’s book, Alone Together, in her introduction, she focused on the robotic movement of when, where, and how will human and robots interact with one another. Turke stated how “Robots have become a twenty-first-century deus ex machina.” (Turke, 9). If robots could be another “godly machine,” social networks that connected with any devices; computers or smartphone, could be another AI too. It’s like personifying a device with human qualities. Similar to how Turke reflected objects to have human qualities and the content to be treated as things. (10). For instance, the object was Fred’s Twitter page and content were the incoming tweets with IFTTT recipes displaying his interests are things.

Work Cited:

Turke, Sherry. “Introduction.” In Alone Together. 1st ed. Basic Books, 2012.

Exercise 3 – Fictional Character

For this exercise I decided to build a fake Twitter account and interview a fictional character from a Marvel comic book series that was turned into a Disney film. Fredrick Lee, or Fred is an energetic science geek and comic book nerd that studies at a big institution in the fictional city, San Fransokyo. Overall, I wanted to build Fred’s Twitter page that was customized to actually display he’s actual interests and personalities.

Below is the interview:

INTERVIEW SCREENSHOT

 

The following is a small list of recipes that I created from IFTTT for Fred’s Twitter page. Along with results in tweet posts:

RECIPE 1TWEET SAMPLE 1

RECIPE 2TWEET SAMPLE 2

RECIPE 3TWEET SAMPLE 3

 

 

 

 

Fake Job Breach

According to my social glitch experiment, I preformed a similar exercise which Nathan Fielder established when sending out a message to his loved ones where he showcased different point of views and reactions to the messages he sent out. For a little background about myself, I enjoy doing nature photography to small cinematography projects where I film the environment around me.

The way I first started this experiment was a casual, friendly conversation with a loved one, in this case, I messaged a few friends on Facebook. The topic of the conversation was to tell them the news where I was hired to work on a documentary that required me to hop onto a plane to Brazil as soon as possible. The catch is that I don’t know how long this project would take to produce and finish.

I first tried it on two friends who lives out of state. We haven’t seen each other for a while, but, I still have a strong communication with them. However, one of them was a bit worried about the news. She seemed more practical over how my education was more important than right away getting this job.

test 1

A contrast to my other friend, she was fully on board with the idea and was super excited for me. Overall, when I told them it was a lie, my particular friend wasn’t so happy about being tricked. While my excited friend was disappointed that she won’t be visiting me in Brazil.

test 2

As you can see, my first two friends were female and were distanced away. So I expanded on getting more different results by testing it out on an old friend. On the other hand, my male friend lived in the same town, but, we sometimes talk to each other whenever we have time. The general outcome of his reaction was a mixture of happiness and bitterness. Though he acted humble over reminding me to “remember the small guys,” I broke the news and told him it was fake and was just an experiment.

test 3

In conclusion, I found this exercise to be refreshing to see how well certain people know you and their personalities at play when it came to particular topics that related to life issues; in this case, future jobs and careers. If I could have expanded more onto this experiment, I would have messaged either of my parents or maybe a complete stranger. Why? There is many different perspective when telling these type of news to a parent verse to a friend. It just depends on how well these people know you and you know them. To finish off, social glitch experiments can be interesting, but, how would this experiment be tested if you told a person face to face or through old school communications, like a phone call?

Being A Parrot – Social Experiment

After generating ideas for a small experiment to challenge or bend some social norms. I decided to somewhat play around the concept of reputation. How can I apply it in a way that would cause someone to feel a bit insecure or maybe annoyed over something that doesn’t occur on a daily basis for someone? I like to call this little experiment: “Being A Parrot.” Like most parrots, they tend to repeat whatever an individual has said before. They would mimic someone’s voice in real-time or repeating a word or phrase from a previous conversation. Like recalling a memory.

For this experiment, I was meant to have one friendly conversation with one friend, to illustrate an owner and his or her pet parrot. But, minutes later a bunch of my other friends came along, forming a circle, and joining the conversation. I was contemplating whether a large group of people would improve or hurt my experiment. So I just went along with the ride.

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According to the short audio piece, this was the best result I’ve gotten from the experiment. It recorded a glimpse or a simple picture of how this “Parrot” experiment went. The piece sounded like a normal conversation among friends; the subject was mainly about websites and how some of my friends designed their sites for a class, but, when I butted in like a parrot it changed the flow of the conversation. I started repeating whatever last word or phrases some of my friends were saying. At the back of the mind, it felt more of a game than an organized experiment. But, at the middle of the piece, I captured a good snippet of how the outcome of the experiment had turned out. When one friend was trying to “unify his website,” I repeated the word “unify.” There was a pause and a couple of giggles that seemed to throw off my friend. While the rest of us found it funny, my friend who was talking about his website, didn’t find it funny at all. That’s why he responded, “Oh come on!” causing him to lose his train of thought for a minute before continuing his story.

Overall, I would have liked to make this experiment more uniformed and organized. Besides having multiple amount of people talking constantly without any breaks, it would have gone smoothly. I would have liked to record a video to illustrate a better sense of the experiment, but, it would have ended too soon over how some of my friends might have found out they were being recorded. So I ended up, tucking my phone inside my jacket’s pocket the whole time while recording. Well, most of them didn’t notice.