Bot! zine - Issue #83

We had last week off, so there's a lot to catch up on in the world of bots! I especially loved the ar
Bot! zine - Issue #83
By Bot! zine • Issue #83
We had last week off, so there’s a lot to catch up on in the world of bots! I especially loved the article below about monks trying to figure out the classic Trolley Problem.
Don’t forget: you can send me stories and links to stuff you’re excited about by replying to this email! This whole newsletter is based on our community at, so get involved! 💪

Required Reading
What Do Buddhist Monks Think of the Trolley Problem?
Monks take on the trolley problem, a classic moral dilemma that has big implications for driverless cars.
Why are Microsoft’s chatbots all assholes?
If artificial intelligence is indeed the future, then Microsoft needs to be sent to the remedial boarding school upstate. Just one year after shuttering teen chatbot Tay because it became a racist Nazi, its new chatbot Zo has started making unprompted and worrying accusations about the Qur'an.
Do you remember the last time when you had to “talk” to a call-center robot? Like when calling your bank to activate a credit card.
Press 1 to report missing credit card… Press 2 to report a fraud… (…) Press 8 to activate a credit card…
It’s far from an enjoyable experience. When you call them and hear a recorded voice, you can tell that your call is going to take a while. You also know that there’s a high chance you’ll end up talking to a real person anyway.
Chatbots are no better than these robots.
Help EFF Track the Progress of AI and Machine Learning | Electronic Frontier Foundation
There isn’t currently a good single place to find the state of the art on well-specified machine learning metrics, let alone the many problems in artificial intelligence that are still so hard that there are no good datasets and benchmarks to keep track of them yet. So we are trying to make one. Today, we’re launching the EFF AI Progress Measurement experiment, and encouraging machine learning researchers to give us feedback and contribute to the effort.  •  Share
10 Bots For Your Body and Mind
The constant barrage of tech can be overwhelming. What if we could use chatbots to help us live a more balanced and healthy life? From mood tracking to exercise reminders, “there’s a bot for that.”
Amazon's Alexa Profile Was Created by a Woman: Toni Reid
The creator of Amazon’s Alexa robot talks about the invention.
5 chat services with the potential to change democracy
On the last 4th of July, VentureBeat took a look at five bots that could reshape or change democracy. One year later, we revisit the bot landscape with the same idea in mind.
New Bots, Tools, and Directories:
Landbot | Convert a Landing Page into a Chatbot is a tool to create conversational interfaces in substitution of forms. No coding required!
Jean Baudrillard (@Baudrillard_Bot)
’…one should put oneself in the position of an imaginary traveller who came upon these writings as if they were a lost manuscript…’ code by @EliasJMGarcia  •  Share
Braff Patterns (@BraffPatterns)
A new Braff Pattern every few hours. (from @stefanhayden)
BotEngine allows you to create a chatbot for any service. It’s basically your personal chatbot factory.
Legal will never be the same again. Get your documents. Instantly.
With the rise of new cognitive techniques, combined with conversational interfaces, are we finally seeing the dawn of natural user interfaces that work the way we do?
Watson can do more than outwit Ken Jennings on Jeopardy. Bot expert Ashish Kumar will lead a session about the Watson AI framework, how it’s different from consumer bot frameworks, and conclude by building a simple bot (while juggling fire). The session will be interactive and we’ll share all code afterward.
7/17 Teaching Bots to Talk - Design & Content Conference Extra Event - Style & Class (Vancouver, BC)
On July 17th we’re partnering with The Design & Content Conference to bring an extra bit of fun to Vancouver through an exciting talk and panel on teaching bots to talk. This is a fun, thought-provoking session around the new reality of personal agents, bots, and artificial intelligence permeating our digital lives.
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