"A bot is a software version of a mechanical robot . . . Strings of code written by everyone from teenage chat-room lurkers to topflight computer scientists, bots are variously designed to carry on conversations, act as human surrogates, or achieve specific tasks . . . Bots entertain, annoy, work, and play."
Thus writes the author of this fascinating taxonomy of cyberspace's first indigenous species. Bots have great potential for organising our lives or sabotaging them. In this original, startling book Leonard recounts the saga of these software robots in all its quirkiness: from the trials and tribulations of artificial intelligence to the hilarious lifestyle of the first bots and the havoc they set in motion.
The book also constructs a playful history of the Internet, tracking it from the free-form ASCII-text playground of clipheads, researchers, and scientists to the sprawling, advertising-laden cultural entity it has become. Accessibly written with great foresight, 'Bots' expertly analyses the psychology and anthropology of popular technology.