Thursday 23rd February 2012
Who's afraid of Weavrs?? Not really, but these little bots are mighty powerful. Worth knowing about anyways, just in case they do take over the world. At least you will have heard of them. Weavrslearn new emotions and grow to empathically reflect the interests of those around them in the digital space.
Created by David Bausola, a creative technologist and CEO of digital agency Philter Phactory; Weavrs is a systems that manufactures artificial beings that exist within social parts of the internet.
According to Prote.in“The rise of collaboration and sharing photographs of everything we are doing is making us start to live off other people’s memories,” says Bausola. “So we built a rough sketch for a robot system that would feed off retweets, and through that message it would find other pieces of media,” says Bausola. People can log in the Weavr website and create their own bot. They build a personality by filling in a form of likes, dislikes and different associations with emotion states. Once complete, the bot is then let loose across the social web.
Weavrs navigate their environment (the internet) by using Google Maps and Foursquare. They check-in at locations as they digitally 'pass' them. “They aren’t running through the streets as a physical person, but running through the streets in a digital sense,” says Bausola.
Based on the bots 'memory' of things it has stumbled across before, a bot might 'say it’s reading a new novel and announce this with a link to the book’s Amazon page'.
Confused yet? It certainly is tricky stuff to grasp. And pretty darned intelligent too, not to mention potentially very fiscally rewarding for its creators (and users).
'Although the bots were originally created to explore the social web, Bausola has since realised there are commercial possibilities'.
The commercial potential for very clandestine data mining is tremendous. "A brand could put the demographic characteristics of their target consumer into the Weavr, and create an artificial version of that consumer, which could then trawl the web to find relevant social data'.
Why hire a social media trends company when you could potentially deploy a team of 'bots' to delve into the digital world and bring back the exact trends, comments and personality types you are seeking?
Functionality and case studies remain to be seen of course, but certainly worth checking out here.