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.

How Bots Seized Control of My Pricing Strategy

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.


June 30, 2015