Thursday, August 19, 2010

Who Would Win In A Fight? Internet Marketing Vs. Giant Robots

This is of course a promo for my followup to Internet Marketing for Alpha Geeks, which will be released tomorrow, along with an impressive assortment of bonuses. However, it's also a fairly cogent explanation (probably my most cogent) of a long-held, semi-obsessive secret theory, that the smartest way to use programming to make money is to write a robot entrepreneur to go out there and start businesses for you. I think it's worth watching.

Consider: there was a hacker who used a neat AI technique to write a Twitter spambot which responded to tweets about books by offering people relevant books off Amazon, with built-in affiliate links. The experiment netted him about $400 (and netted Amazon about $7000). Twitter eventually shut him down, and I can't fully endorse spam, but in some ways, this is the most perfect software business possible, as I understand software and business, because this guy essentially wrote a robot salesman paired with a robot product selector, turned them on, left them running, and didn't have to do anything further at any point.

Anybody who's spent any time thinking about venture capital is aware that investing in lots of different entrepreneurial ventures is a very effective way to make money. Imagine, for the sake of argument, an AI experimenter entrepreneur like this hacker, who spent all his time writing robot salesmen and robot product selectors (and found a way to do it without spamming anybody). This person would be a weird hybrid of the boot-strapped entrepreneur who starts his own business on his own code, the venture captialist who sponsors numerous entrepreneurs, and the tinkerer guy from Blade Runner who used to "make friends" by building lots of different robots. After all, why should investing in entrepreneurs be a multi-millionaire's game only? We're basically already at a stage where anybody with a little spare time and a lot of programming talent can (at least in theory) write their own robot entrepreneurs.

I hope people aren't opposed to the idea of robot entrepreneurs. Firstly, that's prejudice and discrimination, and secondly, corporations are already people under the law. Why shouldn't entrepreneurial Python bots be people under the law too?