Twitter bots grow up and get a job?

I’m not sure whether to say “I knew it!”, or “whaaaat?”. A while ago I mused on the efficiency and quality of Twitter bots, coming down on the side that authenticity matters and that human is better. So you can imagine my surprise and excitement and perhaps consternation when one of my favourite news sites, Quartz, this morning introduced the newest addition to their reporting team: Marvin Prime. Who is, actually, a bot.

So I checked the date of the article, and sure enough, it was written on April 1st. Hah! They almost had me there.

But Quartz already had their April Fool’s spoof (pretty good, but even I didn’t fall for that one):

quartz mining project

Surely they couldn’t get away with two?

Indeed, Marvin Prime is happily tweeting away even this morning, with gems such as:

Some inscrutable delights from his first day tweeting, which was March 25th (not April 1st!! Another clue?)

How long they’ll keep him on staff, I don’t know. What will be interesting is to see how seriously people take his profound insights. My guess is: not very. But they will no doubt produce the odd chuckle, and if they can along the way poke holes in our bubbles of tech-pretentiousness, I’m all for that. Welcome, Marvin! I look forward to hearing from you!

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For more on Twitter, check out my Flipboard:

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