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Mike Amundsen

Lead API Architect at API Academy, CA Technologies

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Bots on the Net: The Good, the Bad, and the Future

Bots are becoming more and more prevalent on the Internet. The power of "Internet Robots" runs from simple web crawlers to dependable assistants to curious creatures trying to learn and grow on their own. The promise of 'bots is that they willfree humans to focus on more important and interesting things. But most online bots require lots of investment in design, implementation, and maintenance. Some even require human "trainers" to ensure they continue to operate properly. And some clearly don't "operate properly" when left to fend for themselves against humans and other 'bots on the 'net. So are bots a good thing or not?


In this lively talk, Mike Amundsen touches on the history of software bots from Liza and Parry to Clippy and MOMSpider to Siri, chatbots and more. We'll explore both learning and non-learning machines and discuss the different ways in which machines can "learn" including the difference between "specialized" and "generalized" AI. 


Finally, we'll review the challenges to 'bots on the 'net including shortcomings in AI and learning, inbuilt and acquired bias, truth, trust, and security, and the effects 'bots will have on jobs and the economy. Through it all we'll be looking at what the future holds for both humans and machines when we live in a world of 'bots on the 'net.

About Mike Amundsen

An internationally known author and speaker, Mike Amundsen travels the world consulting and talking about network architecture, Web development, and other subjects. As Lead API Architect for the API Academy, he works with companies to provide insight on how best to capitalize on the opportunities APIs present to both consumers and the enterprise.


Mike has authored numerous books and papers. His most recent book, "RESTful Web Clients", was published by O'Reilly in February 2017 and he co-authored "Microservice Architecture" (June 2016). Mike's 2013 collaboration with Leonard Richardson "RESTful Web APIs" and his 2011 book, “Building Hypermedia APIs with HTML5 and Node”, are common references for building adaptable Web applications.