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Creator of @Tofu_Product Explains His Bot, Tries to Convince Us It’s Real

We need to learn to trust again.


Last week we had a bizarre conversation with alleged Twitter bot @tofu_product, but we had some doubts about it’s authenticity. Is it really a bot, or just a person trying to Horse_eBooks us? Since then the creator has reached out to us to assuage some of our doubts. Here’s what programmer Joe Toscano had to say.

@Tofu_product is a bot that claims to attempt to write like you do. It does this by pulling words and phrases from your past tweets and rearranging them. It doesn’t do a great job of creating real sentences, but it’s hard to argue against the absurd beauty of tweets like:

A big reason we were suspicious of @tofu_product was the delay in responses. While presumably a bot could pull random words from a tweet together almost instantly, at times it was taking several minutes for the bot to respond. Toscano explained this to us in a tweet, saying the reason for the delay is Twitter’s limitations:

While also assuring us that @tofu_product really is a bot, Toscano explained that he’s trying to get around the limitation:

At this point, we’d love to take Toscano at his word. He seems like a decent enough fellow, and any remaining doubt we have about @tofu_product has nothing to do with him. We’re just not sure we’re ready to trust another Twitter bot after Horse_eBooks. So way to go, jerks at Bear Stearns Bravo. You’ve ruined our ability to trust silly Twitter bots doing silly Twitter bot things. Maybe not forever, but certainly for now.

@Tofu_product is still a lot of fun either way, and resulted in our new favorite sentence, “I’m currently obsessed with getting floppy.” So if you want to have a weird conversation with a robot, or perhaps a weirder one with a human pretending to be a robot, check it out on Twitter.

(via Twitter)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.