Genre: Bot

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Helbotica” by Jonathon Yule

The bot is an e-lit genre that goes as far back as 1966 with Joseph Weizenbaum’s ELIZA, a chatterbot that engaged users in conversation through text entered and displayed in a computer terminal. This concept informed interactive fiction from the 1980s and has breathed life into video game characters ever since. Poetically, bots are also related to generative works, producing poetry in many forms (haiku, couplets, sonnets, and more), techniques (n-grams, Markov-chains, templates, variables, etc), and datasets (self-contained, data mining, streaming APIs, user-generated, dictionaries, and more).

With the rise of social media, big data, and distant reading methods bots have become increasingly popular, markedly since 2012. A distinguishing feature of these bots is that they operate in real time, publishing content on a schedule or responding to specific conditions, drawing data from large and streaming datasets via APIs, filtering search results, reshaping or transforming it, and/or deploying its content through social media, blogs, or webpages.

For a chronological listing of bot coverage, check out the bot category in I ♥ E-Poetry or visit the Bots! Research Collection in the ELMCIP Knowledge Base (linked to below). See also the I ♥ Bots entry from the ELO 2014 conference.

Bots reviewed:

Chatterbot

Dataminer

Markov Chain

Generator

Mashup

Oulipian

Template

Scheduler

Responder

Bot-like

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