The bots were essentially Ashley Madison’s sales force.
Men who signed up for a free account would be immediately contacted by a bot posing as an interested woman, but would have to buy credits from the site to reply.
Annalee Newitz, a reporter who helped expose the site’s use of bots, also uncovered internal documents showing that 80% of initial purchases on Ashley Madison were by a male user trying to communicate with a bot.
Meanwhile, CNN Money reports that customers who disputed charges from the site were told that records of their activity would be mailed to their home, essentially a threat to expose them to spouses and families.
She is also, I should mention, a chatbot–an automated script being served to me by a computer program.
But don’t judge me too harshly for spending time with her.
She’ll say something like, “gotta go–XX,” and then disappear for 10 or 20 minutes before sending another message.
The game does not generate responses to whatever the player says, but rather follows a path through these lines of dialogue depending on her responses. ” At one point, while she interviews for a marketing position, I feed her answers to a mock branding exercise.“I don’t think someone will get to the end of Jessie and say, yes, I beat it,” Humble says. It’s a different thing.”Jessie’s lighthearted series of quandaries is a first attempt at storytelling via chatbot, and one that in its casual tone and surface-level plot aims first to be believed.But it’s easy to see how deeper stories could be told in this format–as easy as it is to keep responding to a Facebook friend (even one you know is a robot).An ongoing FTC investigation of the company is likely focused on the circumstances of that hack, but could expand to both the use of bots and billing practices.The company told the Avid Life Media’s new leaders, CEO Rob Segal and President James Millership, were hired in April, but last week’s announcement is the company’s first comment on its plans for a post-hack turnaround.