<p>Bots – automated software applications programmed to perform tasks online – have become a feature of our everyday lives, from helping us navigate online systems to assisting us with online shopping. Yet, despite enabling internet users, bots are increasingly associated with disinformation and concerning political intervention.</p> <p>In this ground-breaking book, Monaco and Woolley offer the first comprehensive overview of the history of bots, tracing their varied applications throughout the past sixty years and bringing to light the astounding influence these computer programs have had on how humans understand reality, communicate with each other, and wield power. Drawing upon the authors' decade of experience in the field, this book examines the role bots play in politics, social life, business, and artificial intelligence. Despite bots being a fundamental part of the web since the early 1990s, the authors reveal how the socially oriented ones continue to play an integral role in online communication globally, especially as our daily lives become increasingly automated.</p> <p>This timely book is essential reading for students and scholars in Media and Communication Studies, Sociology, Politics, and Computer Science, as well as general readers with an interest in technology and public affairs.</p>
Acknowledgments<br /><br />Abbreviations<br /><br /><br /><br />1: What is a Bot?<br /><br />2: Bots and Social Life<br /><br />3: Bots and Political Life<br /><br />4: Bots and Commerce<br /><br />5: Bots and Artificial Intelligence<br /><br />6: Theorizing the Bot<br /><br />Conclusion: The Future of Bots<br /><br /><br />Notes<br /><br />Bibliography<br /><br />Index
<p>“A cogent and even-handed overview of automated software agents and how they act as extensions of human intention.”<br /><b>Allison Parrish, Poet, Bot Maker, and Assistant Arts Professor at New York University</b></p> <p>“<i>Bots</i> is a readable, accessible yet scholarly informed survey of the roles bots played, are playing, and might play in the future of the internet and digital devices. A useful reference for many students and scholars, and an engaging read for the wider public curious about bots.”<br /><b>Sergey Sanovich, Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University</b></p>
<b>Nick Monaco</b> is Chief Innovation Officer and Director of China Research at Miburo Solutions.<br /><b>Samuel Woolley</b> is an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas at Austin.