‘What Would I Say?’ app generates Facebook statuses for you… sort of

The Right Click

If the tedium of updating your status across all social media is just too much to handle, don’t worry : there’s an app for that.

At this year’s Hack Princeton hackathon, a group developed “What would I say?”, an app for Facebook that can spit out statuses on your behalf so you don’t have to write them.

In an effort to try and emulate what you’d say, based on what you’d posted in the past through probability algorithms. Here’s the explanation from the creators:

“Technically speaking, it trains a Markov Bot based on mixture model of bigram and unigram probabilities derived from your past post history.”

Markov Bots are programs written with artificial intelligence based on a Markov chain. In simple terms, it is a random process that works within a finite set of variables, creating the illusion of conversation when really it’s just picking from terms you use and short phrases it has been programmed with to seem as if it’s somewhat intelligently responding when you give it information. These kind of bots were especially popular in Internet Relay Chat (IRC) online chatrooms, often resulting in nonsensical and hilarious discussions.

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And sure enough, “What would I say?” lives up to the Markov Bot reputation. After authorizing the app to connect with your Facebook account, the application scans your past updates and generates a status based on your previous ones. Here are some of the statuses I received:

“Apparently, MAs can't find that playing The Sims 2 was making butternut squash soup but still had real carrot and have to get it” –ToriBot

“Can you resist the police officer that arrested you if you want the last two more days of primary research tonight.” –ToriBot

“Heading to thaw things the story so I don't get rainy, so cute.” –ToriBot

“Why, the job.” –ToriBot

“How sad. Don't have dinner in the last two days. –ToriBot

“Or possibly some CRAZY 'only in Quebec' pickles...” –ToriBot

So is it a practical replacement for writing a status yourself? Probably not. Is it a hilarious way to fill a couple of hours this weekend? You tell me: If you test it out, be sure to post some of your favourites in the comments below.

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