Timeline Of Internet Bots

The widespread presence of bots on the internet has driven concerns about their effects on social media, cybersecurity, and public discourse, but internet bots are far from a new phenomenon. The Onion takes a look at the history of bots on the internet.


1950:

Alan Turing creates the Turing test, an experiment where a human tries to tell the difference between a machine and a human with an exciting offer if you act now.

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1966:

MIT’s ELIZA, an early chatbot, revolutionizes the field of screwing around with a piece of software for four minutes and then getting bored.


1997:

Tamagotchis successfully scam millions of children with titillating messages that they’re so lonely and hungry and just looking for someone to satisfy their needs.

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2005:

It officially becomes too late to stop them.


2007:

The Storm botnet causes financial crimes committed by bots to surpass financial crimes committed by humans for the first time ever.

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2011:

Apple introduces virtual assistant Siri, which allows users to search the internet with just their voice and then manually when Siri didn’t understand what they were asking.

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2012:

Despondent YouTube bot gives up on trying to teach itself how to skip ads.


2015:

Microsoft’s Cortana software becomes the first artificial intelligence to know the human pain of being forgotten and abandoned.

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2019:

Twitter addresses growing influence of bots on platform by adding 5 million more.

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