Human at Day, Robot at Night: A brief explanation of my cyborg account dreams.

What?

So, I am planning to create a Telegram bot account. Or to be precise, a cyborg account. It works quite similar to @livegrambot, a Telegram bot builder used to create and manage thousands of feedback bot accounts out there.

A typical @livegrambot-powered Telegram bot acts as a proxy between Telegram users who contacted the bot, with the ones who created the bot (usually a support staff or team).

The cyborg account that I’m developing, will definitely be similar, too! I can read all your sent messages, send, reply, delete, and even ban you. But when you say some magic words, my mechanical parts will uncontrollably move my hands and fingers to reply to you as quick as possible, even when I’m sleeping and don’t know who you are! Oh no, I’m enchanted!

Just kidding! But to be honest, that magical thing could be one of the benefits of chatting with me through a cyborg account. You can ask me anything, and if that falls into one of the Frequently-Asked Questions you’ll likely to get your answers from me even when I’m not reading your message… yet!

How does it work?

Okay, have you guys know about the famous Turing test? Basically it’s a test where someone, physically separated from a person and a self answering program/machine (which I assumed as a robot), tries to guess which one’s the human and which one’s the robot.

When you are interacting through my cyborg account, you’re basically in that test room chatting with me as a human and my self-answering program as a robot. But instead of convincing you that my program is more human than me, we are convincing you that we are humans and robots at the same time.

Some of you might be confused and feel less comfortable when I say I’m a robot. That’s the reason why we finally just want to convince you that I’m a human at day, and robot at night! If you want me to better understand you when it’s night time in Indonesia, try speaking to me as if you’re talking to a robot. Well, why? Cause I am a robot šŸ¤–. (Or to be precise, I’m unavailable at night so my robot will try to understand your questions.)

Now, let’s jump into some technical details, shall we? When you talk normally to me, the bot will relay the message to me as usual, while scanning for keywords which could potentially be answered instantly. For example, if you send a text message which the bot highly believes that you ask for guidance to register for HISHOT 2021, the bot will confidently reply with instructions to register for that event. Or else, the bot will try to guess the topic of your message regardless of confidence levels.

It might be tiring for you to send messages like “Hey Reinhart, can you join this Zoom meeting”, or “Don’t forget to remind me to send the document” repetitively, and that’s why you have the chance to summon my 24/7 robotic entity to answer questions and perform actions quickly by using the infamous slash commands. Wanna learn more how to use a specific Command Prompt command? Send /tldr <your command here> and my robot will fetch some information from cht.sh and tldr.sh. Wanna report an urgent issue? Send /wtf <problem> or /ftw <problem> (stands for “For The Workers”). And finally, wanna make sure that you’re talking into a human, send /captcha.

Why would you want to be a cyborg? At least in Telegram?

And what does this actually mean to me? And why do I really care about it?

  1. I don’t need to worry forgetting several things before answering your questions. They’re already written in the (PHP, Python, and Java)script!
  2. I can finally multithread myself especially when it comes to reading and replying messages.
  3. And finally I can sleep(), ’cause automated messages saves my day!

And additionally, with the power of Telegram bot API, I can secure and prevent myself to be added by others to spam groups (especially those fake investment groups), ’cause:

  1. I can prevent my registered phone number to leak accidentally into other unknown Telegram users,
  2. And of course, I’m a robot! (Many public Telegram groups, including Kotakode, forbid members to add bot accounts without admin’s consent)

Problems and Solutions

But of course, there are some drawbacks of chatting with you guys on behalf of a bot/cyborg account:

  1. It’s a little bit difficult to know about you, from the perspective of a bot account. You might set a different display name (e.g. “Alice” instead of your real “Eve”) on Telegram which could confuse myself.
  2. Can’t call (or join an ongoing call) through a bot account. This seems to be self-explanatory, while I’m happy if Telegram will soon add this functionality into bot accounts.
  3. I have to create a separate app/website just to chat with you. Unlike Matrix.org, you can’t log in into Telegram as a bot, and Telegram doesn’t store chat history for bot accounts. That means I have to create my own database to save your messages, too.

And of course, I wouldn’t be Reinhart without solving problems with algorithms. So, to work around with the limitiations:

  1. I’ll encourage users to sign up for an account at bots.reinhart1010.id before interacting with me as a cyborg. This will help me and my bots to know your preferences (preferred language, gender pronounciation, etc.), and create additional features on my cyborg account which require an additional level of security, e.g. by making sure that you’re a committee of Event X and by sending OTP tokens from emails and apps such as Google Authenticator.
  2. I’m also considering to open-source my custom chatbot framework (note: it’s not Ika) and web frontend used to operate my cyborg account. But please be aware that some modules (e.g. the ones which perform queries in an external database) will be proprietary and confidential.

The Roadmap

I already have @reinhart1010_bot which is currently being used by both Controld and Alterine to help TECHNO 2021: ERA committees to fix registration issues on https://registration.himti.or.id. Once after TECHNO 2021 is finished, I will start to reuse that username for the sake of this project. Then congratulations, I am officially a robot!

And finally, do you have any names for that robotic entity?

Well, it’s a good time to spawn up the name of Sketchy. Many dictionaries define “sketchy” as something incomplete, unclear, unreliable or even unsafe! Nevertheless, he’s just a normal bot trying hard to understand you. So, come on…

By Reinhart Previano Koentjoro

Site owner, human, 20. Loves to build and play. Visit https://reinhart1010.id/reinhart for my portofoliošŸ¤ž

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Mentions

  • Reinhart Previano Koentjoro
  • pr0xy, the cyber ghost!
  • ā‡§ Shiftine

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