The Brave New World of Bots & Second Life

I’ve been distracted lately by the exigencies of the physical world – specifically renovating and remodelling the garden. I keep wishing I could just point and click to get things done but of course technology hasn’t arrived in that sphere as of yet. Luckily for me there are nephews available so I just point and “request”.

I don’t believe that automating everything is the ideal, there are occasions when sentient life forms are of value – with or without avatars.

I grab whatever moments I can to go online and putter but haven’t had extended periods to actually accomplish anything. One thing I did try to do was take care of something that’s been on my to do list for months – I had not yet put this new blog location on Techorati↑ and it seemed silly to leave the old one there.

The “claiming” process is a bit lengthy and involved but I went through it and waited for the final confirmation.  Imagine my surprise when the review was completed and I was informed that this is not a blog. The brilliant automated bot informed me that they don’t accept forums or store sites so my little bit of internet rambling wasn’t accepted. I’ve become accustomed over the years to processes that are more complicated and error prone than necessary.

We used to say that you automate things that are “mechanical” but in those areas where humans add value you don’t. This principle is often abandoned both for cost savings and because of a belief that code can do anything.

Unfortunately for me the support system at Technorati doesn’t let me just ask somebody to review their bot’s decision. Apparently I would have to create a question and use it to start a new issue on the forum which is not what I want to do. I guess I’ll just live with the knowledge that, whatever I might think, this is not a “blog”.

You know I’ve accepted the fact that the days of 3 choices of toothpaste is long gone. The world apparently needs hundreds of different kinds. I can live happily with tv remotes rather than having to get up and cross the room and turn a dial to change the channel. Every now and then, however, I find the lack of actual human involvement in life’s processes to be a pain in the ass.

I comfort myself with the thought that inworld it doesn’t matter what shape the avatar – I’m dealing with an actual person. This will change I guess with pathfinding. Damn those robots – until they make themselves really useful (like digging up that tree and moving it to the other side of my yard) I am going to have difficulty embracing this brave new world.

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  1. I can identify so much with this post, and I particularly liked what you said about SL avatars: “I comfort myself with the thought that inworld it doesn’t matter what shape the avatar – I’m dealing with an actual person.”

    • Until that day in the future when my life essence is transformed into pixels and I become part of the web I will continue to rely on the old style humans. :P

  2. I think the use of NPC’s (Bots) in Second Life is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, Bots can perform routine tasks 24/7/52, that their masters would never be able to stay online or hire enough cost-effective help to do. Sophisticated versions can be customized to provide a whole range of functions and interaction that make the human-driven avatar experience in SL better.

    The downside is when people use bots for purely selfish reasons. We saw many examples of this, when bots were used to “game” SL’s sim ranking system. Another example would be a sim owner who decided bots could handle everything and there was no human customer service available at all. This is the type of scenario you encountered Honour.

    Disclaimer: Vuturus (my company) has a sister company called Thoys Bots, that is a premium creator of SL BOT technology and automated intelligence scripting. You can learn more about Thoys Bot technology by visiting the in-world showroom at ThoysBot HQ,

    • /me grins Well now that I know you’re an “expert” I’ll contact you if I encounter a rogue band of the things :)

  3. This comment was posted by a bot pretending to be a human reading an article written by a bot that pretends to be a human, but Technorati doesn’t get fooled!

    I wonder if your WP plugins will also reject my comment because I’m not human enough for it :)


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