Mourn the loss of @Horse_ebooks by enjoying @tofu_product
Several weeks after the death of one of its bizarre Twitter stars, Horse_ebooks, the Internet has given birth to a new Twitter meme -- tofu_product. Like Horse_ebooks did, the feed spews out random and choppy strings of texts that make just enough sense to register as sentences and thoughts, but nonsensical enough to appear less-than-human. Unlike Horse_ebooks, tofu_product is not an elaborate performance art piece curated by BuzzFeed employees, but something much, much more -- a program created by a man named Joe Toscano. The New Yorker describes how the algorithm works:
The program is called @tofu_product. When you follow him—users, including Toscano, have begun to refer to the bot as male—Tofu reads through two hundred or so of your most recent tweets. When you tweet at Tofu, the algorithm sifts through that set of messages to derive a reply intended to mimic your own tweets. And after you’ve followed Tofu, he continues to collect words from your new tweets, creating an ever-expanding personalized dictionary. Tofu the bot, like tofu the food, absorbs the flavor you give it.