How to Turn Yourself Into a Bot on Facebook

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Nov. 12 2013 5:59 PM

What Would You Say on Facebook If You Were a Bot?

"What Would I Say?" autogenerates Facebook status updates based on your past posts.
"What Would I Say?" autogenerates Facebook status updates based on your past posts.

Screenshot /what-would-i-say.appspot.com

If someone took all your Facebook posts and tossed them into one big word salad, what kind of salad would it be?

Will Oremus Will Oremus

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

No need to speculate: Just go to a fun little hacked-together website called What Would I Say?, log into Facebook, and hit "Generate Status." Out will come a computer-generated status update based on past updates from your own timeline. How does it do that? No, the site isn't secretly run by humans, like the famous Horse_eBooks Twitter feed. Rather, in the words of the site's creators, "Technically speaking, it trains a Markov Bot based on mixture model of bigram and unigram probabilities derived from your past post history." Which I'm pretty sure is just a fancier way of saying word salad.

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In any case, the bot's posts tend toward semi-coherence, questionable grammar, and lackadaisical punctuation. Then again, don't we all.

On the Media's P.J. Vogt gave it a spin and came out with some amusing morsels. My favorites:

  • yes message me wolf blizter at burning man
  • Does anybody want a free pair of my research
I tried it too. Here's what WillBot had to offer:
  • This is either that, or this is dead.
  • Makers Mark defends decision to water down its comments section, saying it's vacation when you die.
  • This is making nachos and running around the world Trade Center
  • Tesla's Model S and instantly feel like the baby meerkats best
  • But can the buffaloes withstand a great argument...
  • We asked readers to leave Cleveland. Right, I'm scheduled to be on MSNBC Live coverage of a Muppet’s
  • Driverless planes should be fun nonetheless.
  • I'm thinking of people using social media privacy.
In case you too are thinking of people using social media privacy, don't worry: The app's creators promise not to store your information. Now, leave Cleveland! Preferably on a driverless plane.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

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