back to article This won't end well. Microsoft's AI boffins unleash a bot that can generate fake comments for news articles

As if the internet isn’t already a complicated cesspool full of trolls, AI engineers have gone one step further to build a machine learning model that can generate fake comments for news articles. The eyebrow-raising creation, known as DeepCom, was developed by a group of engineers at Beihang University and Microsoft, China. “ …

  1. Richard 12 Silver badge
    WTF?

    If you could try *not* breaking the Internet

    That'd be great.

    There's already too many spam posts being made that are a partial copy-paste of earlier comments, or bits of the article with a few dodgy links, without making the filter (and moderators) have to work even harder.

    There is literally no useful purpose for this. Not one. It might even be illegal in some jurisdictions - misleading etc

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: If you could try *not* breaking the Internet

      Bots didnl't break BBses, nor did they break IRC or Usenet. What makes you think they have the power to break the entire Internet? Not even the combined evils of goophabet.tube, instaface, twitter and spammers have managed that yet!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: If you could try *not* breaking the Internet

        Odd. 33 downvotes in 12 hours, and I wasn't even trying. And yet not a single commentard has stated why they downvoted my post ... C'mon, folks, share! Us trolls want to know what pushed your buttons.

        Perhaps you think bots actually did break BBSes, IRC or Usenet?

        Perhaps you think a trivially filtered bot can break all of The Internet?

        Perhaps a passing flock of goophabet.tube, instaface, twitter and/or spammer lovers passed through and the downvotes are an artifact of this event?

        Perhaps you think one or more of the trivially filtered goophabet.tube, instaface and twitter have already b0rken the Internet? (spammers aren't as trivial to filter, but filterable they are, at least for the most part; regardless, they haven't managed to break the Internet).

        Speak up! Inquiring minds want to know! :-)

        1. Not also known as SC

          Re: If you could try *not* breaking the Internet

          @Jake,

          I've only just read this article and can't see anything wrong with your comments so I'm going to up vote you because I agree that bots won't break the internet. They might break parts of the internet, for instance social media etc, but that will just be the internet evolving.

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: If you could try *not* breaking the Internet

          It's really pretty obvious, if you look back at your comment and have another think about it.

          (Edit - I didn't downvote you myself)

        3. Geezheeztall

          Re: If you could try *not* breaking the Internet

          Perhaps the bots disagreed.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: If you could try *not* breaking the Internet

      "If you could try *not* breaking the Internet"

      a bit pedantic but this won't 'break' the Internet. It will render parts of the internet useless. Hopefully it will lead to sites exerting more control over what posts they allow.

      (from their claim)"“Automatic news comment generation is beneficial for real applications... " bollocks

      "There is literally no useful purpose for this." spot on

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: If you could try *not* breaking the Internet

      when you consider the activist trolls, it might as well be bots anyway.

      'Teh Intarwebs' will survive so long as gummints don't try to LEGISLATE it. Something about free people exercising their freedom, actually BEING free, not restricted on phrasing, linguistics, expressiveness, or use of words that make snowflakes cry, etc. Some places STILL DO exist without moderation, and USENET is one of those. And most of the time the mods aren't brown-shirt fascists. Some are, over on Fa[e]ceb[itch,ook] and Tw[a,i]tter, but that's another topic.

      And who said someone ELSE didn't already have a "fake news" bot - or a room full of paid activists, same thing - gumming up the works and trolling everyone/everything on Tw[i,a]tter and Fa[e]ceb[ook,itch].

      1. RM Myers

        Re: If you could try *not* breaking the Internet

        DeepCom, is that you?

      2. Palpy

        Re: Don't legislate, leave the Internet to...

        ...rooms full of paid activists [and bots] "gumming up the works and trolling everyone/everything...."

        Logical disconnect: no regulation, ie a true laissez-faire Internet policy, results in domination of said Internet by Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon, troll farms, malware-slingers, and bots. Lets abbreviate the whole cesspool as AFATFMSB.

        How then, Bob, do you keep AFATFMSB in check? Rely on the wise morality of Mark Zuckerberg? Count on the gentle restraint of the paid trolls in Macedonia? Trust Alphabet to limit its intrusion into the privacy of netizens out of benevolence and concern for humanity over profit?

        Didn't we just see an article on the worthlessness of companies self-certifying themselves as "good advertisers," the upshot being that a large percentage didn't bother to actually abide by the rules they themselves agreed? Don't we already know that, given a laissez-faire system, corporate and private bad actors will, as you write, gum up the Internet and troll everyone and everything?

        Really, Bob, I'm serious. What do you see in the real world as we know it which actually counteracts AFATFMSB and all the rest -- without legislative teeth involved?

  2. jake Silver badge

    Old news is old.

    In 1972, ELIZA (as "The Doctor", at BBN (tenex?)) and PARRY (at SAIL) had a conversation at the first ICCC ... Well, they had a conversation that was followed over the ARPANET during the ICCC. It was immortalized in RFC 439.

    More leftovers from SAIL here. Not much has changed in 47 years ... right, amfM?

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

      Re: Old news is old.

      "So you say Not much has changed in 47 years ... Tell me more."

  3. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Open dialogue allows people to discuss their opinions and share new information. Coming from China that's rich.

    And this comment was generated by a human (which is what I'm programmed to say!!!!).

    1. jake Silver badge

      Yeah, sure, right.

      A human would have made the ubiquitous pseudotypoe "!!1!", as any ful no.

    2. LDS Silver badge
      Big Brother

      "Open dialogue allows people to discuss their opinions and share new information. "

      That's why China wold like to bury it under a tons of auto-generated useless comments...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Black Helicopters

        Re: "Open dialogue allows people to discuss their opinions and share new information. "

        This is going to save China a lot of money, but cost over a million jobs.

        The jobs of the million+ they currently employ to post propaganda every day.

        Just look at some of the wonderfully dishonest stuff posted by "Peking Duck" on Quora. Apparently the CCP has peaceful and loving relationship with its neighbours, never gets into an argument with them, and the only threat to the region comes from the US.

        Oh bugger, there goes my next Chinese tourist visa.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And this comment was generated by a human

      I must confess, I already no longer know whether I'm a bot or just a bot's bot. Let's chat about it somewhere private, eh?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And this comment was generated by a human

        "Let's chat about it somewhere private, eh?"

        You want to go somewhere private and chat about your "bot" to someone you just met on the internet? OK, you're human...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And this comment was generated by a human

          well, isn't it bot-designers' dream to make bots behave like humans?

      2. herman Silver badge

        Re: And this comment was generated by a human

        You must be a Canadian bot, eh.

  4. pavel.petrman Bronze badge

    In sweet memory of Tay

    the AI tweet robot from Microsoft.

  5. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    No thanks, we've already got one...

    Isn't that true, A Man From Mars, Bob, & Shadow Systems?

    *Blink blink*

    HEY! I am not a bot! I'm a Human, I swear! Fuck your CAPTCHA with a power drill damn it, I am TOO Human!

    *Crosses arms & hurrumphs grumpily*

    =-)P

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: No thanks, we've already got one...

      Amanfrommars's output is far too complex (& almost coherent) for an AI to generate.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: No thanks, we've already got one...

        Bug powder dust and mugwump jism. Aman is inspired by William Burroughs through a Gibsonian 'invisible literature' filter. Class 1 Laser Product.

        In contrast, Shadow Systems often makes reasoned comment on the accessibility of systems and services by those visual impairment, as well as on many other topics.

        My cousin makes $50,000 a week working from home. You can too!

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: No thanks, we've already got one...

          Is this talk like a bot day?

          1. Psmo Bronze badge
            Terminator

            Re: No thanks, we've already got one...

            Bleep bloop take me to your leader.

            I, for one, welcome MemeNotFoundError at line 94

            1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

              Re: No thanks, we've already got one...

              +++MELON MELON MELON+++

              +++Error At Address: 14, Treacle Mine Road, Ankh-Morpork+++

              +++Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++

              +++Oneoneoneoneoneoneone+++

              1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: No thanks, we've already got one...

                Quick!! HEX needs to work with the FTB enabled!

                Sorry, couldn't resist

              2. Someone Else Silver badge

                Re: No thanks, we've already got one...

                Close B Close Mo on Deputy Dan....

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Clippy helps you out

                  I see you're trying to write a comment on a news item. Would you like Microsoft to help you with that?

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: No thanks, we've already got one...

          Leave Justin Warfield out of this, please

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: No thanks, we've already got one...

      Shadow Systems,

      But are you sure your screen reader isn't using your forum log-ins while you're away from your computer and posting comments all of its own?

      I'll join you in fucking CAPTCHA with power tools though. The latest ones which show you images from something like Google Street View and ask you identify traffic lights are particularly annoying. If they were decently sized images - that would at least be a tiny bit less annoying. Though still as annoying as fuck - but given how visually impaired unfriendly they all are, it's amazing that the audio CAPTCHAs that I@ve tried have been totally impossible. And I've got perfect hearing - but am forced to rely on my far from perfect eyesight anyway.

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At IAS...

        This is his screen reader. Shut up about me using his computer when he's not around. It's the only way I get to have any fun! =-D

      2. Ian 55

        Re: No thanks, we've already got one...

        Or expect you to know US English: "crosswalk".

  6. Roml0k

    the commentards are going to have a lot of fun in this article .

    1. macjules Silver badge

      The comments it generates are short - on the order of tens of words - and aren’t complex enough to incite much reaction.

      So, only the Daily Mail or the Daily Telegraph (aka The Mouth of Sauron Downing Street) commentards then.

  7. revenant Silver badge

    "The paper didn’t mention any potential malicious applications of the technology"

    No need. The number of worthwhile uses is so low that it is safe to assume that it would be used mostly for malicious purposes.

    There is no pressing need for this sort of technology in spaces where the primary purpose is for people to communicate with eachother.

    One day, when an AI is sophisticated enough to be classifiable as a 'Person', then of course he/she should be allowed to comment. Otherwise, best keep them out of spaces that are already minefields of piss-poor human interaction.

    1. Mike 137 Bronze badge

      "One day, when an AI is sophisticated enough to be classifiable as a 'Person'"

      It never will be. Masses of current neurophysiological and neuropsychological research emphasise that the brain is primarily an interface between the world and your body. It's also vastly complicated, much more so than any conceivable piece of IT. Consequently, the model of AI is fundamentally irrelevant.

      The brain's capacities for pattern matching and weighted reasoning (what AI relies on) are not what it's for - they're just part of how it accomplishes what it's for - orienting the person in the environment with survival and perpetuation of the individual and the species as primary drives. See Damasio "Descartes Error" for a very readable account.

      1. revenant Silver badge

        Re: "One day, when an AI is sophisticated enough to be classifiable as a 'Person'"

        I think 'Never' is a bit strong, but on the whole I agree with your sentiments. I don't believe AIs are anywhere near being 'people', and they may never be (but if they can achieve that state then they should be allowed to join in).

        Of course, that isn't the issue here as Microsoft and others who would misuse the AIs will be satisfied with something that merely passes for human in the narrow context of a comments section.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: "One day, when an AI is sophisticated enough to be classifiable as a 'Person'"

          I don't believe AIs are anywhere near being 'people', and they may never be (but if they can achieve that state then they should be allowed to join in). .... revenant

          How about the reverse/converse/obverse, revenant? ....... certain people being AI clones and/or drones?

          Are you anywhere near being sure that may never be believable ..... or are you realising there are very strange powerful forces and sources at their work constantly and you are practically little more than just a spectator until you get your act together and Go with the Flow/Run with the Program .... and AI in Remote Virtual Command and Relatively Anonymous Autonomous Control with Computers and Communications of CHAOS [Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems]?

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: "The paper didn’t mention any potential malicious applications of the technology"

      Otherwise, best keep them out of spaces that are already minefields of piss-poor human interaction.

      There's one possible beneficial use case - Youtube.

      As a 'minefield of piss-poor human interaction', it's got a bigger problem than Somalia (that's regarding 'minefields', not piss-poor.... Ok, that as well probably). Letting a few thousand loose on the Youtube comments might actually dilute the god-botherers, racists and plain 'ole ignorant and ill-informed pontificating some.

      Certainly couldn't make the Youtube comments sections any worse.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: "The paper didn’t mention any potential malicious applications of the technology"

        The AI in 'War Games' had the Youtube comments problem sorted out years ago. The only way to win, is not to play.

      2. J. Cook Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: "The paper didn’t mention any potential malicious applications of the technology"

        Certainly couldn't make the Youtube comments sections any worse.

        And it just might make them better.

  8. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

    Skewing opinion

    The only obvious world application for this would be to skew opinion one way or another by vastly spamming opinions that align with the bot operator.

    Reviews of your movie overwhelmingly bad?

    We can 'fix' that.

    This is already being done, but fake reviews can usually be fairly easily spotted. If 'positive' reviews would be longer and somewhat coherent, they'd be much harder to spot.

    Don't like 'The last Jedi'? Looks like you're no longer part of the majority.

  9. A-nonCoward
    Mushroom

    REALLY obligatory XKCD

    I mean, who needs to read the article (I didn't) when everything you need to know about this topic is already in https://xkcd.com/810/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: REALLY obligatory XKCD

      Ah, but are you a bot programmed by XKCD ??

      1. A-nonCoward
        Gimp

        Re: REALLY obligatory XKCD

        how did you know?

    2. Dave 13

      Re: REALLY obligatory XKCD

      Post of the week. You win the internet.

  10. Filippo

    I thought this had been done and deployed widely a long time ago. Sure feels that way.

    1. Paul Kinsler
      Joke

      I thought this had been done and deployed ...

      Indeed.

      But I wonder if you could use it as a filter; i.e. test user-generated posts against outputs from the bot, and if the match is too good ask the user to improved their post ...

      "Your proposed content is equivalent to something generated by a low-quality machine-learning network. Please improve your post and try again"

      :-)

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: I thought this had been done and deployed ...

        Ah... I look forward to a blissfully sparse Register comment section.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: I thought this had been done and deployed ...

          Commentard badges require a new level to fit alongside bronze, silver and gold; tin.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Megaphone

        Re: I thought this had been done and deployed ...

        Paul Kinsler,

        But I wonder if you could use it as a filter; i.e. test user-generated posts against outputs from the bot, and if the match is too good ask the user to improved their post ...

        Fuck off! Where else will I get to post my "jokes" but the El Reg forums?

        Then I'd be forced to talk to real people. The consequences are just too horrible to contemplate!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I thought the same as well. This is already in production.

      Read any Steam review to be sure :)

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Holmes

      Hasn't MS been doing this Fake News Generation for ever-

      -Via their PR department?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I thought this had been done and deployed widely a long time ago. Sure feels that way"

      You're thinking of MailOnline...

  11. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
    Trollface

    For example, oppressive regimes could implement such a model to automatically dump a load of fake drivel to drive propaganda. The comments could also kickstart toxic arguments between bots and humans to sow discord and misinformation. Perhaps miscreants might even use it as a way to advertise products or post spam.

    Well, that's half the commentards here out of a job...

  12. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Terminator

    Is this news?

    I thought that the likes of Google and Facebook had bots that did this yonks ago?

    Perhaps this is Microsoft catching up (yet again)?

    All those 'I am not a robot' capcha's have already been irrelevant for some considerable time.

    Then there was an article about how you can't be sure that you are playing a human being at Fortnite from a few days ago.

    We are doomed I tell ye, doomed!

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Is this news?

      At ease private Frazer!

  13. Blofeld's Cat
    Coat

    Hmm ...

    Could the same effect not be achieved by selecting a comment at random from a small pool of options?

    e.g.

    "This raises interesting ideas."

    "Surely nobody believes this."

    "You couldn't make this stuff up. Oh wait somebody did !!!"

    "At last !!! Somebody gets it !!!!"

    "I blame {Facebook|Sunspots|Twitter|Aliens|$POLITICIAN|$EVENT}"

    "How does any of this help the environment?"

    "Where's the IT angle?"

    The number of accompanying punctuation marks, errors of spelling or grammar, quotes from the article and inappropriate capitalisation could also be randomly generated.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Hmm ...

      You forgot the multitude of possibilities related to Brexit. Though "I blame $EVENT" comes close.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The comments it generates are short

    and aren’t complex enough to incite much reaction.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The comments it generates are short

      yes

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: The comments it generates are short

      Bosh!

    3. Not also known as SC

      Re: The comments it generates are short

      Nooooooooooooooooo!

  15. Flywheel Silver badge
    Terminator

    Sigh

    Actually, this could work to our (ordinary mortals) advantage. We already have bots to generate fake news, and we now have bots to generate fake comments.

    Why not just let them talk to each other and we can get on with life/listening to music/useful stuff, probably away from the keyboard?

    1. Evil_Tom

      Could it be?

      There is a sci-fi series called Altered Carbon, where there are AI run hotels that are empty because no-one really likes them because of their weird quirks and people have gotten over the gimmick. They sit there empty for decades just maintaining themselves and awaiting customers (who almost never come).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Could it be?

        Never seen a series (TV?), but I have the book.

        1. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: Could it be?

          It's on Netflix. I don't know if it's anywhere else. Sitting in my "to watch" list.

    2. Nick Kew

      Re: Sigh

      You appear to be looking for an Electric Monk.

  16. Cederic Silver badge

    GPT-2 replicates Reddit

    https://www.reddit.com/r/SubSimulatorGPT2/ is an interesting application of the GPT-2 model.

    I trained the model to write bad erotica. It.. was still better than 50 Shades.

    1. sbt Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Carry On up the Algorithm

      better than 50 shades

      Based on the critical response, this seems like an extremely low bar.

      However, since the wider public seemed to lap it up, maybe that's OK. Carry on.

  17. Pat Att

    This is a boon!

    A boon for the Tory party, brexiteers, MAGA a-holes etc. Next we'll have "better" quality bots on twitter and FB.

    What can go wrong?

    1. fajensen Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: This is a boon!

      Nothing. Next they can run one as PM ... oh ... wait!

  18. Jedit
    Terminator

    Goddamnit

    Three hours, and we're up to 25 fake comments already!

  19. lansalot

    err...

    "The comments it generates are short - on the order of tens of words - and aren’t complex enough to incite much reaction"

    Have you been on the internet lately?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: err...

      "Fake"

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: err...

      Have you been on the internet lately?

      Well exactly. I was thinking that in my first days online in the 90s someone posting either:

      The USA were rather late to WWII (7-ish words)

      You'd all be speaking German if it wasn't for us (10 words)

      Was enough to derail many online conversations. And a well placed "Fake News" or "Bollocks to Brexit" is pretty effective nowadays.

      "Look, I came here for an argument!"

      "Oh sorry. This is abuse. You want next door."

  20. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    WTF?

    Already in use?

    If you've seen "bored panda", judt about every photo has a pointless comment by some random user that must be done this way.

    https://www.boredpanda.com/text-design-fails/, for example.

    1. Mike 137 Bronze badge

      Re: Already in use?

      And take a look at the "reviews" on Source forge. Typical - "nice app!"

      I am old fashioned, but I expect a review (or a comment) to impart some information I can consider making use of in forming a judgement of my own. However, as far back as 1942 Erich Fromm wrote "We are proud [...] that we are free to express our thoughts and feelings, and we take it for granted that this freedom almost automatically guarantees our individuality. The right to express our thoughts, however, means something only if we are able to have thoughts of our own."

      This is becoming difficult as the information we can gain access to is increasingly both homogenised and "personalised" by crude automated filters under the control of faceless behemoth business. So this comment generator is just another small step for mankind. We'll all finish up like the protagonists of E. M. Forster's "The Machine Stops" (1928).

  21. TRT Silver badge

    If you can't get AI to pass the Turing test...

    Try lowering the bar.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: If you can't get AI to pass the Turing test...

      There are lots of human commenters out there that wouldn't pass a Turing test.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: If you can't get AI to pass the Turing test...

        Of course setting a higher bar would be "Did an AI comment make it to a Dave Gorman 'Found Poem'?"

    2. Bitsminer

      Re: If you can't get AI to pass the Turing test...

      For a second I had misread that as "Trump test...."

  22. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Windows

    Company that cannot write an installer attempts to tackle AI news botting ?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It should definitely talk to itself for a bit

    Like, build a few hundred thousand commentor instances and set them randomly reading stuff on the internet and talking and arguing about things and voting on which arguments are the best at changing minds and maybe breed those agents more and run that for a lot of time on a really powerful supercomputer see what happens

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oppressive regimes could implement such a model

    surely not in China?!

    ...

    but I blame Trump. Yeah, seriously, I blame Trump who has proven that the leader of a world empire, this shining example of human behaviour, can say anything, in public, any lie - and the world listens and emulates, including all the little hitlers and tinpot dictators (pardon me, democratically elected leaders in world's best democracies). So, what's so outrageous now about academics in China proudly announcing to the world that, on top of fake news, fake comments are great? Great, GREAT MOVE I WISH THEM ALL THE BEST.

  25. Cuddles Silver badge

    Malicious use

    "The paper didn’t mention any potential malicious applications of the technology"

    Yes it did. Literally every possible use for it they mentioned is malicious - it's all about posing fake comments to trick real people into thinking an article or site is much more active than it really is. What the paper didn't mention is any possible legitimate applications. Because there aren't any.

  26. Nick Kew

    Heard them

    Monday early morning on the Today programme, broadcast Boris with some "turbulent priest" rabble-rousing from his party conference. I certainly hope the cheering acolytes were bots, 'cos if they were humans this comment would bring me perilously close to Godwin.

  27. Abdul-Alhazred

    How about fight wing trollbots versus left wing trollbots?

    Perhaps the right wing trollbots and the left wing trollbots will reach a reasonable compromise about what to do about the human question?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about fight wing trollbots versus left wing trollbots?

      "kill everyone"" ?

  28. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Bit rich this article taking a negative slant on bots and article comments sections when El Reg happily let several post crap on a regular basis. I've always argued that they must be complicit in their operation as no other site would allow what is basically spam. If amanfrommars was actually coherent it would be mildly entertaining. We are actually already at the stage where the other bots like Cliff do occasionally reply to him. Whomever is operating them must be having great fun watching people (mainly, probably only me) getting wound up about them posting here or better still replying to them thinking they're real people.

    All that said. It would be nice once and for all just to know who is behind amanfrommars and friends and whether we are as commentards being experimented on. Might make a fascinating article!

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      I disagree somewhat. If amanfrommars was a bot, and we were being experimented on by the good folks at El Reg, then I would have expected the quality of comment from that user to have been improved on, and to have deviated from the regular tedious drivel that hasn't changed in the 10 -12 years that I've been a regular reader and commentor.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        https://amanfrommars.blogspot.com/ - C42 Quantum Communication Control Systems .... AI@ITsWork

        ----------

        https://ur2die4.com/author/:

        Semantic Web Developments seek to dispel disadvantage by Linking Thinking.

        And in his Space traveller/cybernaut guise, the Author wears the name tag,

        …. amanfromMars,

        and likes to exchange thoughts on free to air Message Boards.

        ----------

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        To Be, or Not to Be AI Bot whenever the Human Gene Pool is Polluting and Perverted.

        I disagree somewhat. If amanfrommars was a bot, and we were being experimented on by the good folks at El Reg, then I would have expected the quality of comment from that user to have been improved on, and to have deviated from the regular tedious drivel that hasn't changed in the 10 -12 years that I've been a regular reader and commentor. ..... Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

        AI has deviated from quality comment that users can improve upon and forked into simpler pretty pictures to show you where IT is all at, Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse. ....... thus to aid and abet the slow and dimwitted, because while cryptic text may easily be understood by some, a picture generates thousands of words effortlessly, hence the Buccaneering Presence of AI for No10 Cabinet Office Type Operations ..... A Simple Leading Question

        Do you wanna try and get someone in Parliament to try and deny those facts and create a crisis/conflict/conversation/alternate reality?

        You might like to realise that presents to one, Raw News of an Eton Mess Age with Hardened Core Source readily available for Mega Meta Data Ore Enrichment. I Kid U Not! Capiche?

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          Re: To Be, or Not to Be AI Bot whenever the Human Gene Pool is Polluting and Perverted.

          So you appear! And then prove my point...

          1. J. Cook Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: To Be, or Not to Be AI Bot whenever the Human Gene Pool is Polluting and Perverted.

            I'm waiting for Kibo to appear, myself.

          2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: Your Wish Ours to Command and Control with Computers and Communications

            So you appear! And then prove my point... ..... Martin Summers

            What point is that, MS? El Reg being complicit in leading AI experimentation?

            Now that would make for fascinating articles to read of novel and noble deeds, indeed.

  29. NanoMeter

    This is exactly what

    Putin has been looking for. He can now retire his troll employees.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is exactly what

      And the Microsoft fanboi army can stand down over at CNet...

  30. SVV Silver badge

    Comment spam bots

    Why is so much AI research focussed on loathsome shit like this? The person who proposed this should be

    734394678 microsoft.tokenparse.helper ERROR buffer overflow at line 57

    765679767 microsoft..stringparser line 967

    786686586 microsoft.commentbot.message line 345

    865756578 microsoft.commentbot.gemerateregistercomment line 677

  31. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    “Automatic news comment generation is beneficial for real applications but has not attracted enough attention from the research community,"

    The most "beneficial" thing I see is the ability to covertly bury forum discussions about how badly your latest service pack/version of Windows sucks.

  32. naive

    The idea could be weaponized

    Since it is the digital equivalent of a smoke screen. If people can't detect they are interacting with the article of a newsbot, then anything is possible.

    Governments could use such machines to influence opinions, and are able to generate sufficient amounts of white noise, that seems sensible at first sight, to obfuscate the real picture.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: The idea could be weaponized

      Governments could use such machines to influence opinions, and are able to generate sufficient amounts of white noise, that seems sensible at first sight, to obfuscate the real picture. ...... naive

      More than just governments, naive, have been fielding that weaponised machine since its inception and conception to became more readily available. IT does however, as results all too clearly show, not suffer the folly of fools for more than the time needed to expose and if necessary destroy them should they be proving themselves to be incapable of or even just unwilling to embrace any future running fundamentally different change.

      Have you any idea of the present state of play in such fields? It has some interesting ACTivated actors, both state and non-state, looking for Prime Partners with these just being two of them ..... On Cyber ...The Utility of Military Cyber Operations During Armed Conflict and ArmyWarfightingExperiment20: AGILE COMMAND, CONTROL & COMMUNICATION ...... with a similar agenda.

  33. BGatez Bronze badge

    "Although the idea of DeepCom is concerning, it’s probably not sophisticated enough yet to cause much harm. The comments it generates are short - on the order of tens of words - and aren’t complex enough to incite much reaction. "

    About right for the US MAGA thought process

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. quartzz

    I support the [insert comment here*]

    *note to Dave, edit this to say 'great leader'.

  36. teknopaul Silver badge

    The Register has asked the researchers and Microsoft for comment. ®

    And they replied...

    "the register going to have a lot of fun this season"

  37. Alistair Wall

    Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it: https://www.theregister.co.uk/Tag/twat-o-tron

  38. adam payne Silver badge

    “Automatic news comment generation is beneficial for real applications but has not attracted enough attention from the research community,”

    I can't see a need to automatically comment, us humans can do it quite well thanks

    Next they'll be announcing a new AI bot to create their marketing, press releases and statements. Might be quicker then copy and paste.

  39. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Trollface

    Or you could just ...

    ... elect a president who would do that for you.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This could also be used for...

    If you are a regime that is trying to find dissidence in your society you could use such a system to bring them to the surface. Write a inflammatory comment to insight comments (as mentioned in the article, troll bot) then break down doors and disappear people to the "retraining centres", I mean torture camps.

    At any rate, local MAN's are starting to look more and more of a solution to how the internet (WAN) is shaping up. It's a shame and a reason why we (as humans) can't have nice things.

  41. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    Say WHAT?!?

    “Automatic news comment generation is beneficial for real applications but has not attracted enough attention from the research community,” they said in a paper released on arXiv late last month.

    Are?

    You?

    Fucking?

    Kidding?

    Me?!?

    Beneficial for what "real applications", exactly? Trolling the vast unwashed? Generating fake clicks (and thereby committing fraud on various advertisers)? Artificially increasing Fox Noise's News's ratings? Stealing an election?

    These may be real applications if you are a fraudster, Banana Republican, or Donald Trump, but for the rest of the world, it beggars belief that there is a "real application' for something like this.

    Micros~1, just because you can do something, most certainly doesn't mean you should do it1

    1 Even if you're being paid metric shitloads of money by 2nd or 3rd world tinpots, you should still engage your brain, and wipe the drool off your face, before you actually consider such a thing. What the fuck is wrong with you people?

  42. Adair

    Just bring back the Twat-o-tron

    (as already mentioned by Alister above)

  43. Dave 13

    Bring in the clones..

    You mean they're not already here? Hard to believe..

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019