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Google working on social media automation technology

Graeme Parton

Search giant Google has patented its plans for new software capable of gradually learning social media users’ online behavioural habits.

After learning traits over time, the technology would be able to mimic the user’s typical responses to messages and status updates from friends and family members. It is also capable of flagging potentially urgent updates to allow personal responses when appropriate.

It is thought that the idea behind the software is to make it easier for people to juggle multiple social platforms.

In the patent, Ashish Bhatia, one of Google’s software engineers, explained how the popularity of social media, as well as other forms of electronic communication, has grown substantially in the last few years, and that this has left some users unable to keep up with the messages they receive.

In an attempt to solve the problem, Google has envisioned a complex system which gathers data on all of the social media platforms the user has joined before logging what they do and how they deal with the various types of status updates, personal messages and content sent to them.

By analysing the responses, the software is able to build up a knowledge-base, allowing it to make suggestions of its own. Google hopes that these suggestions will be indistinguishable from those of a real person.

Although the program seems sophisticated, the examples given in the patent still point to a need for refinement.

For instance, upon learning that a ‘friend’ called David has started a new job, the system could suggest:

“Hey David, I am fine, You were in ABC corp for 3 years and you recently moved to XYZ corp, how do you feel about the difference, enjoying your new workplace?”

Experts have also suggested that the subtleties of human communication could catch the new system out.

Here at Pressroom, we see social media as a tool which allows businesses to interact with their customers in a ‘human’ way, and for this reason, sites like Facebook and Twitter have become invaluable. It remains to be seen how Google’s new ideas, if they come to fruition, would affect this.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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