AI, neither artificial nor intelligent

me not writing this blog post (original artwork from

The term ‘artificial intelligence’ is thrown around quite a lot these days. It’s perhaps the most buzzword in science and technology right now with the development of self-driving cars, online dating, autonomous driving and other amazing technologies. But many people seem to get it wrong. Artificial intelligence is not some sort of brain in a vat — it is simply an extension of modern technology that makes algorithms work more effectively.

To many, the term Artificial Intelligence (AI) conjures up images of robo-patrol robots or fighter jet flight systems. While these avatars may have fooled us into thinking that machines are thinking and deliberating, today’s AI is being used everyday in mundane situations. Take Facebook for example. It uses artificial intelligence to identify what you like about the world around you and suggest your friends the same. This is powered by both advanced technology and deprogrammed humans (aka Machine Learning algorithms).

I’ve recently seen some pretty wild claims being made about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in particular. These claims are certainly exciting to think about, and there are any number of reasons as to why the general public should be very concerned.

Artificial intelligence that learns in a supervised fashion is artificial intelligence. Learning happens automatically, without human intervention. Computer programed to operate in a particular manner regardless of the content, quality or style. Machine Learning models are all about learning.

Google Analytics Spam or How to dupe potential buyers of your website’s traffic

Spent the better part of the afternoon cleaning up (ie: building filters) to filter out crap page views on a bunch of sites today from trafficbot DOT life and bot-traffic DOT xyz.

It’s simple enough using Google Analytics to filter this crap out but the amount of accounts that it had to be done.

So what’s the point? Why is this company, in this case Gamma Traffic, doing this type of low level spam-vertising… to advertise their “Bot Traffic” service. So for free you can get 6000 “page views” a month on a given site. For more $$ you can get any amount of traffic. Great… so who wants this? The only people who want this are people trying to sell low traffic sites to folks who don’t know too much about Google Analytics.

So say I run a squeeze page site that only gets 2000 page view a month. Using this service I’m able to boost my traffic numbers to how ever high I want them. I’m sure the pages that show up in your Google Analytics are up to you and don’t advertise the company once you’ve paid for their service. So I pay for the service for a couple of months and then put my site up on one of the many URL auction sites with screen shots & PDFs of my traffic. I won’t let anyone place any sort of tracking cookie or their own GA code on my site and let them do their due diligence. I’m after the suckers. Pay me with bit coin or through some shady proxy and I’m gone.

I’m sure the Google Analytics team will be getting bombarded with emails, support forum requests, & Tweets shortly. So crossing my fingers there will be a global filter setup soon.