The other day I was going through my twitter notifications when I noticed that there were a few porn bots following me. This isn’t unusual. Every social media site has their share of porn bots, but it gets me thinking. What exactly is the point of these bots? I mean, they’re honey pots I assume, but it’s stupidly easy to find porn that won’t riddle your machine with malware and viruses. So does anyone really fall for it?

There’s a certain amount of awareness these days. Most people can spot a bot a mile off. Yet the internet is absolutely inundated with them. We see them, we watch them, and with few exceptions we don’t interact with them. It’s just a fact of life – an unavoidable part of the cyber ecosystem. Then I had the thought, “eventually, there’ll be more bots than people on the net,” which made me curious. Exactly what percentage of global net activity do bots account for? I looked it up. Last year it was 48.5% and of that, bad bots (those with malicious code or purpose) made up 29%. I also found out that 2015 was the first time in four years that there were more humans than bots on the net, which is fantastic. I never would have guessed. Although, we only outnumber them by a measly 1.5%.

The interesting thing, or frightening thing depending on how you look at it, is that the bots we’re most familiar with (spam bots) make up barely a fraction of total bot traffic. Botnets are where it’s at these days, and this is where I start thinking about how crazy it would be if somehow AI got control of these botnets and made the internet hostile, or at least beyond frustrating to human users. We may be in a fight for dominance of internet traffic right now, but it’s still humans who’re control the bots. If and when AI are created, it’s hard to imagine that they won’t ended up carving out cyberspace for themselves. And now I’m thinking I want to write that story…