Bots/Agents


Bots/Agents are software programs designed to be managed rather than manipulated. Bots designed to do repetitive work. Bot and Agent are now used interchangeably.
There are different kids of software agent some of them can:
  1. Ask questions
  2. Respond to commands
  3. Study user patterns
  4. Serve as a guide and a coach
  5. Follow through its goals
  6. Use it’s own reasoning to follow its goals

Examples:
  1. Wizards
  2. Search Engines
  3. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) bots – users will see each other as a user.
  4. Computer Opponents you interact to with online games
  5. Data Mining (sometimes belongs to the botnet family)


Intelligent bots can make decisions based on past experiences, which will become an important tool for data miners trying to perfect complex searches that delvelop into billions of data points.


Try these sites:
  1. Eliza – one of the first chat bots
  2. Ikea Chatbot
  3. Pandorabots
  4. Yeti Chat Box - Do-Yup Lim



Articles


1. Arts, Entertainment and Leusure - Robots on every home? - BBC News
2. Business and Employment - Businessbots Unleashed - Technology Review
3. Health - Better Software for mission bots - Cnet TV
4. Education - Different Types of Search Engine - Redcarpet Web
- What are the types of the Existing Search Engines - Ceneka
5. Politics and Govenment -Botnet 'ensnares governmetn PCs' - BBC News
- Government- Sponsored Anti-Botnet Initiative - Germany - Softpedia



6. Science and Environment - please see Virtual Reality
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Souces:

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Student Contributions

-Gina-Bots are a sophisticated type of crime ware similar to worms and Trojans. These programs can send spam to Web sites and spread themselves across the Internet. When they find a vulnerable computer, bots infect it and stay hidden until it is triggered.
Government and Politics (Crime)
  • Bots have been used to steal personal information from individuals and send it to the criminal. This is a form of identity theft, breaches intellectual property issues, and at times reduces reliability and integrity as the data might have been manipulated.
  • DoDDS Attack in South Korea

Business and Employment
  • Bots have been used to knock Websites offline and make them unaccessible to customers, preventing e-commerce. This is disadvantageous for both the customers as well as the sellers since business size is reduced and profit cannot be earned. Furthermore, customers are unable to buy what they want.
  • Some bots threaten to disconnect business websites if they are not paid, reducing the equality of access for those who are incapable of meeting this demand.
  • Some bots can manipulate content online and deceive the sellers.
  • Assistant for black markets
  • Some determine if stolen credit cards are valid and obtain additional information such as the credit card limits and the CVV2 code, invading privacy.

Education
  • Bots have also been used in education by analyzing the user and timing their speed in certain things. For example, Free Rice is a website run by bots in which the bots were adapted with automated online dictionary search, dictionary files and word databases. Consequently, if the answer of the question is correct, rice would be donated.
  • Chat bots also exist, which help people socialize and develop their language skills.
  • Teach people to develop certain skills like chess or car simulators. However, if these things are not represented factually then it is not reliable.

Heesang Ro - John RoBots – An Internet Bot is a software application that does repetitive and automated tasks in the internet that would otherwise take humans a long time to do. The largest use of bots is in web spidering, in which an automated script fetches, analyses, and files information from web servers at many times the speed of a human. Each server can have a file called robots.txt, containing rules for the spidering of that server that the bot is supposed to obey.
http://itbot.com/


In BusinessNowadays, a lot of businesses use Bots to gather and search their product information, also as part of their marketing strategy. It is very useful when businesses have a lot of other company’s item’s information, because it allows the company to compare and come up with better ideas in order to create a better product in the market, through many stages of discussion/experiment on certain products. As a result of creating a better item compare to other businesses, it is possible that that particular company can make higher profits and so on.
Also, when they are using bots, they are using fewer employees, because bots will analyse quickly and gather the data needed for comparison, which allows businesses to save money and time.
Reliability & Integrity – It is possible for Bot companies to actually intrude into business company’ server to steal their vital information such as bank account, instead of providing an actual service as bots. So the bots are not reliable or trusted enough to be used for checking important financial data and other vital information of the company.
Security & Privacy - Hacker Bots: Hackers use this type of bot to crawl around the Internet and find vulnerabilities in business websites and online applications so they can exploit them for malicious purposes, such as spreading viruses or stealing customer’s important information from e-commerce sites such as credit card number, social-security number, etc.
Integrity – As Bots just gather vast number of information in very quick time to provide it to the business, it is likely that there could be false information that it could be offering wrong data which could be changed by people. So the data gathered might not be reliable enough due to its loss of integrity.
http://www.softspecialist.com/software-magazine/Websites-and-Internet-Bots/Why-BOT-BOT-is-BAD-BAD-for-your-website_1.htm


In EducationMany students use search engines on many internet in order to find articles and sources for their assignments, essays, homework, and so on. In particular, Spider Bots are very common in this area. These are used by the search engines to explore Web pages for content, organisation and linking. Spider bots have certain criteria for indexing and determine the ranking of Web pages within the search results. So this allows students to easily search and access the resources that they need, which creates a good learning environments for students to gain information and knowledge.
Reliability & Integrity – As the search results are done by the robots, there could be a chance that students might obtain wrong information which could be not reliable enough to be used on their assignments. Wikipedia comes up as the one of the very first search result; however, that source is not reliable enough because any internet users can edit the information. Therefore, this also brings an issue of integrity of data, since students might be end up using information that has been changed by others.
Security & Privacy – This issue can be flagged when the students are sharing their sources with other students for group projects, and so on. As the spider-bots just scan the whole web-based information without checking, it is possible for some sources containing malwares. So, if the malicious information is spread around, student’s computers can be damaged from Trojan viruses, or any kinds of malicious damage. And when the malwares are intruded into people’s PC, people could access people’s personal data without their permission of access.
Intellectual Property – Spider bots involve use another type of bots called the Website Scraper bots which reprint content from all over the internet without permission from the copyright owner. Therefore, students might be plagiarizing or copying the information that is under copyright law which could bring copyright issues.
http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/2009/12/bid-bots-are-illegal-unethical-shill-penny-auction-scripts-telebid-clone/


In Entertainment & LeisureFor entertainment, Media Bots are very common. Media bots are used to provide updates on weather conditions, news and sports, currency exchange, and so on. In addition, there are bots on the Instant Messaging (IM) where messenger users ask certain questions and it automatically understands the question and responds to the question by Artificial Intelligence gathering information from the web to answer the question. These two systems allow people to gain information that could convenient them and entertain. For example, if you were a sports fan, who wanted to check out the schedules for football, and if you ask the question about the time and dates about the certain match, bot will answer the question immediately with the information that obtained from the internet.
Reliability & Integrity & Authenticity – As there are automatic answering bots on the IM, people are able to communicate with them to gain certain information for entertainment purposes. However, the bot itself might not actually the bot with certain limits of command; it could be hackers pretending like a bot, in order to gain communication and interaction with people through the IM. This could allow the hackers to become close with IM users, which could allow hackers to gain personal information about people. Therefore, as a result of having a close relationship with fake IM bots, it is hard for people to rely on IM automatic answering bots.
Security & Privacy - Also there are games which have bots so that people can play with them for their entertainment purposes. Some games, such as Online Poker asks the game users to input their information on to the game in order to play the game with bots, such as their name, date of birth, etc, for identifying the users. However, this could lead to an actual hacking, because those game bots might be software that sends game user’s personal information to other people
(hackers) for their illegal uses for certain purposes like criminal uses by accessing into people’s privacy without any permission, in order to use innocent people’s personal detail.

http://www.tech-faq.com/internet-bots.html

http://www.spamlaws.com/how-internet-bots-are-used.html

http://www.profinvent.com/index.php/webdesign/web-design-articles/108-internet-bots

http://www.over-internet-bots.com/

http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/safety/technologies/bots.mspx

http://www.articlesbase.com/software-articles/bot-nets-growing-threat-internet-security-suite-software-review-protect-from-bot-nets-166194.html


Chen YinBusiness and EmploymentCompanies like Hawlett-Packard benefit from bots; they plan to create bots that provide information on company projects or staff directories to its employees while Sabre Holdings intend to use bots to help customers receive more information on airline flights and destinations. Marketing companies use bots to gather information on consumer demand.
Privacy: One of the companies called Cyveillance gain unauthorized access to web servers, mail servers, and chat rooms using bots and disguise themselves as "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows XP)”. Although the company is said to scan blogs, websites, and peer to peer networks for other companies that pay, the privacy of individuals are in threat since their activity is being reported to have access without permission.
Reliability: The bots company uses can steal information instead of providing services, thus the design of the software is unreliable.

Security: Automated bots have been stealing information of web sites such as job boards. The stolen data ends up in other competing job boards. The data mining bots threaten companies as the data in their content are stolen and used by the rival companies who subscribe and use automated bots. For example, a web site with data on secondhand car prices might get stolen and be found on eBay.
http://news.cnet.com/ActiveBuddy-lets-companies-control-bots/2100-1023_3-830620.html
http://www.cio.com/article/506726/New_Software_Detects_Bots_Scraping_Website_Data?page=1&taxonomyId=3234
http://secpriv.com/who-is-cyveillance-and-why-should-you-care
http://www.theamericanmonitor.com/articles/cyveillance.html


EducationBots like spider bots that explore web sites for content can be used by students. Also fresh bots that Google uses can crawl web sites and search for updated content. In this way, students can receive updated information in search results. The information that bots gather can help students with their essays, assignments, and homework.
Reliability: The information that spider bots collect might not be the information that students are looking for. Search engine bots or spiders only scan texts, so the images in web page have no meaning. As a result, some information might be misinterpreted without help of having images or graphics.
Security: sharing bots can be threat to security since bots might contain Trojan horse, worm, and other types of malware as well as viruses. Sometimes, using bots in search engines can make students subject to these bots. Once malware infects their computers, bots can feed commands to infect more computers.
Privacy: Since Trojans, worms, and other malware can infect computers, personal information can be accessed without permission and stolen or given to hackers who control bots.
http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2009/11/google-confirms-attack-on-goog.php
http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2010/02/how-google-bots-work/
http://www.ecommercebusinesssolutions.ca/how-does-search-engine-bots-spiders-and-algorithms-work


Arts, Leisure, and EntertainmentBots such as ICM-Bot is used in online poker games. ICM-Bot can play up to 12 tournament tables simultaneously and the player does not have to make any decisions. This bot will play, make decision, and earn money automatically. They use mathematically proven strategies including Nash Equilibrium and Bayes Theorem. ICM-Bot uses these strategies and combine ICM calculations with databases.
Privacy: Some bots such as xPokerBot requires personal information in their web site in exchange for their service. They require either personal information such as e-mail information and web-based information which use cookies and web server log files to collect information on date, time of visits, pages viewed, and time spent at their Web site. In exchange of their service, the users have to give up part of their personal information for web sites to use the information for their business activities such as processing payment, monitoring the service, and providing products.

Reliability: A lot of bots software asks users to create account for their money, but these accounts are usually linked to them. This results in buyers paying money that they’ve won to the owners of the bot. There are many bot scams that involve money-laundering, and the design of their bots is not reliable. Also, bot software that is outdated or have less sophisticated database and calculations running are less likely to win compared to the recent bot software. Thus, people shouldn’t rely on old bot software and expect it to win every game.
Security: Many poker bots, especially those that are offered for free or in cheap price contain viruses and malware such as worms. Users should have anti-virus or anti-spyware software before downloading anything from the websites.
http://www.pokerbot-review.com/free_poker_bot.html
http://www.bestpoker101.com/free-poker-bots-can-cost-you-a-lot/
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/bargains-and-rip-offs/article.html?in_article_id=405335&in_page_id=5
http://www.icmbot.com/
http://www.xpokerbot.co.uk/Privacy.html

Do-Yup Lim
Bots


Business and Employment


Data Mining Bots – bots used to collect relevant data from websites which saves a lot of time for businesses. Companies can use these bots to find out information about competing companies in order for them to earn more money.
Social & Ethical Issues:
Privacy: You can retrieve company information and track performance statistics for any group of corporations you choose using data-mining bots such as the CompanySleuth bot (http://www.companysleuth.com). The Navigate One bot retrieves Web links to all financial information associated with a stock symbol or currency you enter. This undermines the privacy of companies’ financial information and performance statistics.
http://www.smartcomputing.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles/archive/l0603/46l03/46l03.asp

Security: The bots may bring in viruses to your system because they can get data from sites that are even blocked. Sites are usually blocked because they are not secure to be visited and contain malware. However, if the bots penetrate the block and collect information from those sites, this may trigger an issue of security.
http://www.scrappingexpert.com/


Intellectual property: Data-mining bots are being used to copy data from web sites such as job boards to be put up on other competing job boards. The stealing of content is a clear violation against intellectual property. In one case, a Web site that has gigabytes of data on used car prices found their data had been scraped and was for sale on eBay. This would negatively affect the business that owned the website because another company has found out their prices and will adjust theirs to sell more.

http://pcworld.about.com/od/securit1/New-Software-Detects-Bots-Scra.htm


Reliability : The design of the software decides the outcome for a company. If the bot had faulty programming it would mine for the wrong data,which may cause the company to suffer on a greater scale.


Arts, Entertainment & Leisure

Chat Bots – a computer program that simulates human conversation, or chat, through artificial intelligence. Typically, a chat bot will communicate with a real person, but applications are being developed in which two chat bots can communicate with each other. Chat bots can be used in Internet gaming, which is a form of entertainment. Or, you can just go to a site were chat bots are available and talk to them, which is one way to spend your leisure time.
http://www.webopedia.com/TEsRM/C/chat_bot.html


Example: http://www.titane.ca/igod


Social & Ethical Issues:
Reliability: The bot may not know how to respond to a certain situation because it has not been programmed sophisticatedly enough which flags the issue of reliability and the design of the software. Chat bots usually have a specialized purpose which limits its conversation.
Equality of Access: Most Chat Bots only work for English, which limits the users because you have to speak English in order to use the technology. This flags an issue of Equality of Access. :
Privacy: Hackers may disguise themselves as chat bots and ask for your personal information such as name, age, address through chatting.

Education
Search Engine Bots - rely on automated software agents called spiders, crawlers, robots and bots. These bots are the seekers of content on the Internet, and from within individual web pages. Search engines are very popular among students for doing research for their work because they find relevant information within a few seconds.
http://www.metamend.com/search-engine-bots.html


Reliability & Security & Privacy: Search Engine Bots usually give you information from the Internet in a descending order from the most viewed website. However, it does not check the content in detail to see if the data is really relevant to what you are looking for. Thus, if a hacker could program a malware to make his website the most viewed website when a certain keyword is searched, the data collected by the Bot cannot be relied on. This in effect may download viruses onto your computer which threatens the security of your system. Once malware is installed, it may open a backdoor for hackers to steal confidential information, thus intruding the privacy of the users.



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Terry Kim
Bots
Robots or bots in short, are software that gathers information. There are different types of bots for different purposes: spiders gather content for search engine indexes, knowbot collects knowledge for a user by visiting internet sites, anti-virus programs, etc.

Areas of impact:
Business
Bots in business are used to data mine the information they need. These bots replace humans, so the companies do not need to spend their money on hiring employees. Plus, they will not make mistakes like humans would do.

Reliability
If the bots that the companies are not updated, the work they produce may be questioned, and instead bring negative effects to the companies.

Integrity
When the bots find wrong information, there is a lack of integrity to them.

Security
Since bots carry data, they are exposed to danger of losing the data too. All the works that the companies have done may be hacked by viruses.

Privacy
Companies’ can lose their private data when the other data mining bots intrude into their system and steal all their information.

Education
There are music software with bots computed in the. They help the users to create music and find errors that the users make. However, music is an area that needs basic information to understand how it works.

Equality of access
Even though the music software help users and advice what to do, users need to understand the concepts of music in the first place in order to use the software. Therefore, not everyone can handle the software.