Buddy Bots: How Turing's Fast Friends are Under-Mining Consumer Privacy

Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 2005

16 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2005

See all articles by Ian R. Kerr

Ian R. Kerr

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Marcus Bornfreund

University of Ottawa

Abstract

Intelligent agents are currently being deployed in virtual environments to enable interaction with consumers in furtherance of various corporate strategies involving marketing, sales and customer service. Some online businesses have recently begun to adopt automation technologies that are capable of altering both their own, and consumers', legal rights and obligations. In a rapidly evolving field known as "affective computing," the creators of some automation technologies are utilizing various principles of cognitive science and artificial intelligence to generate avatars capable of garnering consumer trust. Unfortunately, this trust has been exploited by some to undertake extensive, clandestine consumer profiling under the guise of friendly conversation. Buddy bots and other such applications have been used by businesses to collect valuable personal information and private communications without lawful consent. This article critically examines such practices and provides basic consumer protection principles, an adherence to which promises to generate a more socially-responsible vision of the application of artificial intelligence in automated electronic commerce.

Keywords: Automated electronic commerce, data protection, consumer profiling, privacy, consumer protection

Suggested Citation

Kerr, Ian R. and Bornfreund, Marcus, Buddy Bots: How Turing's Fast Friends are Under-Mining Consumer Privacy. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=774947

Ian R. Kerr (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada
613-562-5800 (Phone)

Marcus Bornfreund

University of Ottawa ( email )

2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5 K2C 1H7
Canada

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