Archive for publications, December 2016

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[ecrea] New book: Socialbots and Their Friends

Fri Dec 23 00:26:43 GMT 2016

Maria Bakardjieva and I are pleased to announce that our edited
collection, Socialbots and Their Friends: Digital Media and the
Automation of Sociality, is available:

The book should be of interest for anyone working at the intersection of
technology and culture.

Here's the back of the cover description:

"Many users of the Internet are aware of bots: automated programs that
work behind the scenes to come up with search suggestions, check the
weather, filter emails, or clean up Wikipedia entries. More recently, a
new software robot has been making its presence felt in social media
sites such as Facebook and Twitter – the socialbot. However, unlike
other bots, socialbots are built to appear human. While a weatherbot
will tell you if it's sunny and a spambot will incessantly peddle
Viagra, socialbots will ask you questions, have conversations, like your
posts, retweet you, and become your friend. All the while, if they're
well-programmed, you won't know that you're tweeting and friending with
a robot.

Who benefits from the use of software robots? Who loses? Does a bot
deserve rights? Who pulls the strings of these bots? Who has the right
to know what about them? What does it mean to be intelligent? What does
it mean to be a friend? Socialbots and Their Friends: Digital Media and
the Automation of Sociality is one of the first academic collections to
critically consider the socialbot and tackle these pressing questions."

The book features essays by Peggy Weil, Guillaume Latzko-Toth, Andrea L.
Guzman, Florian Muhle, Adrienne Massanari, Keiko Nishimura, Grant
Bollmer, Chris Rodley, Stefano DePaoli, Leslie Ball, Natalie Coull, John
Isaacs, Angus MacDonald, Jonathan Letham, Tim Graham, Robert Ackland,
and David Gunkel -- all of whom make the collection awesome. Maria and I
pitch in, too.

So, no matter if you for one welcome our new robot overlords, or if you
grab your decompiler to wage war on the newest software agents, you're
going to want to buy this book!

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