What does bot mean?
An internet bot, also known a web robot or simply a bot, is software application that runs automated tasks (scripts) over the internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone. The largest use of bots is also known as ”web spidering”, in which an automated script fetches, analyzes and files information from web servers at many times the speed of a human. Given the exceptional speed with which bots can perform their simple routines, bots may also used where a response speed faster than that of humans is required. Common examples including gaming bots, whereby a player achieves a significant advantage by implementing some repetitive routine with the use of a bot rather than manually, or auction-site robots, where last-minute bid-placing speed may determine who places the winning bid – using a bot to place counter-bids gives a significant advantage over bids placed manually.
The success of bots may be largely due to the very real difficulty in identifying the difference between an online interaction with a bot versus a live human. Given that bots are relatively simple to create and implement, they are a very powerful tool with the potential to influence every segment of the internet in recent years.
Another use of bots has a dark side which uses them in the the coordination of an automated attack on networked computers, Internet bots can also be used to commit ”click fraud ” and more recently have seen usage around games named as computer game bots. Internet spam bots also capture email addresses from website contact forms, address books, and email programs, then add them to a spam mailing list.
Have you ever been on a website and been asked to enter a ”CAPTCHA” ? Where you have to enter the numbers or letters in the box before you can proceed onwards? That is used to distinguish between a human user and a less-sophisticated AI-powered bot, by the use of graphically encoded human-readable text.
Another meaning of the word ”BOT” is also ”Back on Topic” known as internet slang, we presume to say ”bot’ when the online conversation has gone down a different track.
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