He says he may eventually open-source the reply-generation algorithm, but that may have its drawbacks.“Only having one tofu around makes him kind of a novelty, which is fun,” says Toscano.
“People tend to talk to tofu for about five to 10 messages, and then they leave him be...
Too many people were flocking to it and our bill was starting to skyrocket," says Baker. We’ve had a great deal of people using it, but I haven’t looked at the analytics of how many people have texted in various responses—like how many people are engaged in the rabbit hole of talking to this bot.
It’s probably a fair amount."So why, in a Web full of ways to connect with real people, do we love the bot (even one that sounds like an insane guy)?
Drunk Shopping is not a person, it’s just a phone number—but it's your best, tipsy friend when you want some companionship during your online shopping sessions. It was created by the three-person team of Chris Baker, Mike Lacher, and Tiger Wang, and it makes them absolutely no money.
You simply send a text to a phone number, initiating the conversation with “heyyyyyy,” and it replies with a ridiculous message and a link to a weird item on Amazon. Baker wrote the copy, Lacher programmed the service, and Wang handled the design.
“We launched it about a month ago, and it was an idea that was tossed around for the longest time. At one point, we had built a Captcha that you had to get wrong in order to get in.
The account’s creator, 32-year-old Joe Toscano, describes the bot’s output as “linguistic salad creation.”Toscano has tweaked tofu’s algorithm over time.
He says the original formula was written in Objective-C against the Apple Core Data framework, but there were scaling issues with that codebase once @tofu_product became so popular.
But you don't need them—you can outsource communication to an automated archetype that approximates their role in your social sphere.
Say for instance, if you're doing a little late-night booze-fueled shopping.