Double Take

Taking a second look at life experiences

Brave new “bot”world starts in California

Is this a ‘natural’ bot?

“Morning Brew” enters my Inbox every morning, and gives me just what I want: short blurbs about what’s going on in the world so I actually feel that I am able to keep up.

It’s a somewhat edgy deal, with short quips and funny takes on the news of the day, with a readership of people presumably like them….mostly 30-somethings (I read somewhere that millennials don’t like to be called millennials, so I am being accommodating).

The style is quick, to the point, and never disappoints.

By the time I finish my last sip of coffee, I am news-satiated.

You’ll notice that I didn’t provide a link to the site. That’s because every single day I am asked to refer a friend. There are all sorts of perks for doing that, “free” mugs, T-shirts, and more things I don’t need or want.

The more socially savvy you are, the more those perks add up. Can you imagine all the tweets, posts, and shares? (see below)

It’s annoying but I don’t blame them. I’m sure it works (see below).

Because I don’t want to feel guilty about never providing a link to anyone, and since I like it so much and wanted you to know about it, you can read it here.

So, my intention is not for you to sign up but just for you to see what I mean about their edgy style.

Of course, if you do want to sign up, you can do that there, or here .

So, obviously their perks do work for many, many other 30-something people (who get to be an “Insider”), because already, they’ve spun off a new line extension, called “Emerging Tech Brew” —- these 30-somethings are just so darn intimidating aren’t they?

[yes, I subscribed to that too, but am reconsidering because I just don’t want to drink that much coffee].

Back to the point of this blog. (I did have my coffee today, promise).

This blurb in the Tech Brew caught my eye:

As of 10 days ago, all online bots in California are required by law to declare they’re not human.

You can read that again. I did.

So, of course I had to unpack that. Ha! I was wondering exactly how and when the bot would declare that to me?

Would it be in the very beginning of the relationship?

What would people way older than me think about this? Would they even know what a ‘bot’ is? Just what would be their experience with a pop-up chat box anyhow? Interesting to think about.

I clicked on the link to read more. There were some definitions of ‘bot’. ‘online’ ‘online platform’ and ‘person’.

Here’s the definition of person (note, all the words in bold are my choice).

(d) “Person” means a natural person, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, association, estate, trust, government, governmental subdivision or agency, or other legal entity or any combination thereof.
So, what would an unnatural person be like? Too much makeup? Not easygoing? Not into sustainability? 
I am not sure I want to think of combinations right now.
Here’s the law (again, just note what I bolded, no other explanation needed):
 (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to use a bot to communicate or interact with another person in California online, with the intent to mislead the other person about its artificial identity for the purpose of knowingly deceiving the person about the content of the communication in order to incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election. A person using a bot shall not be liable under this section if the person discloses that it is a bot.

I leave the rest to your good sense of humor. Have a laugh, or two.

All I know is that the next time I interact with a bot, I want to know what its intentions are.

(But I didn’t say that, a bot did).

Ruth Schapira 

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