Bot chat etc.

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Botconference-6

Taglin3r-1

I did an interview with Creative Review this week about chatbots, writing and technology: 

http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2016/may/bot-chat-how-writers-are-helping-machines-to-talk/

It’s a follow-up to the article on copywriting and social media that I wrote for their May issue:

https://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2016/may/too-long-didnt-read/

And references this earlier piece about rearranging slogans: 

http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2016/march/the-brand-line-surgery/

On a different note, I briefly talked to Design Week about the Mars family archive

This concludes the links for today.

Article. Botconference. Links.

Tldr

I’ve written an article for the May issue of Creative Review about the effects of social media on copywriting – and more broadly about the intersection of writing and technology, where interesting things are happening. You can read it in the magazine, or it’s just been republished on the Creative Review blog.

On a related note, chatbots aren’t a new technology, but are becoming a bigger thing. (See this article about Facebook.) While there are many doom-laden headlines about this being the end of copywriting as we know it, bots are a useful tool for writers – or at least a nice thing to play with.

In a rudimentary experiment, I created a Twitter bot called @botconference, which tweets soundbites from a conference without the need for the actual conference. Occasionally, they border on the insightful. 

 

I created it using cheapbotsdonequick, which I discovered through Russell Davies and his @taglin3r bot, which creates corporate taglines. This is a half-serious example of bots as a creative tool. A common technique in creating taglines is to disrupt the language by ignoring conventional grammar. This is hard for humans to do as we instinctively follow the rules, but bots are naturals at it. You still need a writer to decide which ones work (and most don’t), but it’s good for generating possibilities.

Some more links mentioned in the Creative Review article:

Bots and humans, by Russell Davies

Why copywriters could fare well in the age of robots, by Russell Davies

Cleartext by Morten Just

Thing Explainer, by Randall Munroe

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