Oh. This. This is beautiful.
The result is the Twitter chatbot @AI_AGW. Its operation is fairly simple: Every five minutes, it searches twitter for several hundred set phrases that tend to correspond to any of the usual tired arguments about how global warming isn’t happening or humans aren’t responsible for it.
It then spits back at the twitterer who made that argument a canned response culled from a database of hundreds. The responses are matched to the argument in question — tweets about how Neptune is warming just like the earth, for example, are met with the appropriate links to scientific sources explaining why that hardly constitutes evidence that the source of global warming on earth is a warming sun.
I need about six of these. I need the “race realist” bot, the “men are just smarter” bot, the gun nut bot, the anti-vax bot, the libertarian bot, and the evangelical/creationist bot. Then, once I don’t have to keep repeating myself on those topics, I’ll probably need about six more, since I’ll have time again to spend on evaluating and formulating new sets of arguments.
Would it do any good? Looking for some kind of external metric, it’s hard to say. I don’t know that these kinds of arguments ever convince anyone. I do know, however, that they rarely change and their proponents are generally dogged. This means that chatbots like this can waste plenty of time that these people would otherwise spend trying to spread misinformation and information-free jingoism. That, in itself, would be worthwhile, as would freeing up more of the time of the people who currently go out of their way to combat this kind of nonsense.
So, who’s in?