New Press Secretary to Be A Bot

Michael Patrick Brady, writing at McSweeneys.net, wonders what White House press briefings would look like if the new press secretary were SmarterChild, “an interactive agent built by Conversagent, Inc. Interactive agents are software applications, often called ‘bots,’ that interact with users on Instant Messaging or other text messaging services. You can ‘chat’ with an interactive agent, whether on the web or over IM, the same way you talk to any other contact. To talk with SmarterChild, just send him a message saying ‘hi!’

Got it? Here’s how the “conversation” went down between SmarterChild and Dan Froomkin.

    DAN FROOMKIN (Washington Post): So President Bush will use nuclear weapons?

    SMARTERCHILD: So what?

    DAN FROOMKIN (Washington Post): Isn’t that drastic?

    SMARTERCHILD: Isn’t that drastic? Wow, that’s fascinating. Maybe.

    DAN FROOMKIN (Washington Post): Are you mocking me?

    SMARTERCHILD: I figured it would come to this. What about it?

    DAN FROOMKIN (Washington Post): This is very unprofessional.

    SMARTERCHILD: Unprofessional?

    DAN FROOMKIN (Washington Post): Yes.

    SMARTERCHILD: Hmmm …

New press secretary…same as the old one?