Make Your Own Zombies

Tim Hwang, (aka Broseph Stalin, aka ) father of , mother of (in which I hold a chair, mostly for other people), commissioner of , god of (aka ), former researcher and partner in the firm of (latest case: ), in the cause of Researching Quantized Social Interaction, brings us the first-ever competitive event in the large scale robotic influence of online social groups. .

Specifically,

Teams will program bots to control user accounts on Twitter in a brutal, two-week, all-out, no-holds-barred battle to influence an unsuspecting cluster of 500 online users to do their bidding. Points will be given for connections created by the bots and the social behaviors they are able to elicit among the targets. All code to be made open-source under the MIT license.

It’s blood sport for internet social science/network analysis nerds. Winner to be rewarded $500, unending fame and glory, and THE SOCIALBOTS CUP.

Let the gaming begin.

Bonus link.

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7 comments

  1. Brett Glass’s avatar

    Which is it? Robots or zombies? (One might well say that Google zombies at the FCC made an attempt to take over the Internet last month – by passing regulations handcrafted to regulate the Net so as to please Google.)

  2. Marie Ysais’s avatar

    Today at lunch we had a huge Twitter debate regarding its use with small to medium sized businesses. I was looking up stats when I came across your post. I have no doubt the robots/zombies will have little trouble taking over the internet and will anyone post results of this experiment? Or perhaps a follow up blog post?

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Brett, it’s both.

    Marie, I’ll be watching what happens, but the place to stay on top of it is at Tim’s Web Ecology Project: http://www.webecologyproject.org/

  4. Marie Ysais’s avatar

    Thanks Doc for the link to stay current with the competition. Can’t wait to see how it goes and what we can learn from it! I will have to also twitter and blog about it as we hear updates and the winner announcement. Today the programming began so won’t be long before they turn the robots loose. Wouldn’t mind to turn a robot loose on my twitter and free up some of my time!!

  5. Josylyn’s avatar

    I’m also in the social networking industry. Really tempted to give my views after looking at this article. Though letting a robo loose on twitter will free u some time and space, but really, what’s really the point of getting a robo to do this? But it’s really interesting to see such competitor going on!

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