It gets better. There are whole species of other bots that infest the Amazon Marketplace, pretending to have used copies of books, fighting epic price wars no one ever sees. So with “Turing Test” we have a delightful futuristic absurdity: a computer program, pretending to be human, hawking a book about computers pretending to be human, while other computer programs pretend to have used copies of it. A book that was never actually written, much less printed and read.
author of Lauren Ipsum, Carlos Bueno, talks about how his Print On Demand book has been engaged in weird pricing speculation on Amazon.com. It is a kind of slow motion arbitrage by autonomous bots. This may be related to high speed trading on the stock exchange, only slowed down enough to be perceivable by humans who still can’t make sense of it. Hat tip to José Zagal for the link, and to Lindsay Grace whose exhibition catalog, Blank Arcade 2014, has now also been so engaged.