The Growing Problem of Bots That Fight Online
The way software agents interact on the Web is poorly understood. Now evidence shows that they fight each other for years.
by Emerging Technology from the arXiv September 20, 2016
Software agents, or bots, permeate the Web. They gather data about Web pages, they correct vandalism on Wikipedia, they generate spam and even emulate humans.
And their impact is growing. By some measures, bots account for 49 percent of visits to Web pages and are responsible for over 50 percent of clicks on ads. This impact is set to increase as the number of bots rises exponentially.
“An increasing number of decisions, options, choices, and services depend now on bots working properly, efficaciously, and successfully,” say Taha Yasseri and pals at the University of Oxford in the U.K. “Yet, we know very little about the life and evolution of our digital minions.”
This raises an interesting question. How do bots interact with each other? And how do these interactions differ from the way humans interact? ... "