Twitterbot uses AI algorithm to tweet like Donald Trump

Matching the real thing for arrogance may be beyond science's grasp.
Written by Greg Nichols, Contributing Writer

A researcher at MIT has created a monster.

Bradley Hayes, a postdoc at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) created an uncannily accurate Trump twitterbot that tweets out spot-on Trump-like statements. The bot uses an artificial-intelligence algorithm that draws on hours of transcripts of Trump's victory speeches and debate performances.

That's right folks. I just used Trump and intelligence in the same sentence.

Dubbed @DeepDrumpf, a reference to John Oliver's stirring segment about Trump's ancestral name, the bot learns an underlying structure from all the data it gets, and then comes up with different combinations of the data that reflect the structure that it was taught

Hayes used techniques from "deep-learning," a field of artificial intelligence that uses systems called "neural networks" to teach computers to find patterns on their own. He was inspired by an existing training model that can simulate Shakespeare, as well as a recent report that analyzed the presidential candidates' linguistic patterns to find that Trump speaks at a fourth-grade level.

"Trump's language tends to be more simplistic," Hayes says (beautifully), "so I figured that, as a modeling problem, he would be the most manageable candidate to study."

@DeepDrumpf's tweets don't always make complete sense -- ahem -- but are usually at least partially coherent.

The bot has directly interfaced with Trump's Twitter account. In those cases, Hayes gives the algorithm language from the real Trump's Tweet, which primes it to give a response that is more likely to be contextually relevant.

In this way, Hayes envisions developing accounts for other presidential candidates ("DeepBern," anyone?) and feeding tweets to each other so that they can all converse in a real-time deep-learning debate.

"Much of my actual robotics research deals with these types of modeling techniques," says Hayes. "I thought this would be a good way to learn more about some of the concepts, and have a little bit of fun in the process."

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