This “Vitalik Boterin” Artificial Intelligence Bot Comes a Long Way in Impersonating Buterin’s Tweets


  • David Moskowitz developed Vitalik Boterin, an AI-supported Twitter account.
  • The bot uses machine learning, and sources information from various social media accounts to create tweets like the Ethereum co-founder.

Technology is a beautiful thing, and the way that the market is handling the progress of artificial intelligence (AI) tech is opening new doors constantly. Just a few days ago, a startup published an AI program that is able to mimic the voice and tone of Joe Rogan almost perfectly. However, as reported by The Next Web’s Hard Fork, there is a newly launched version of this tech that has impressive accuracy in mimicking Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, on Twitter.

The bot, which is named Vitalik Boterin, is powered with machine learning (ML), consistently tweeting various statements that look a lot like what Buterin himself posts.

Since Boterin does not have the same needs as a human account, the bot can post at any time of day to “drop knowledge,” as Hard Fork writes. Buterin does not appear to have an issue with the bot, even reposting a tweet from the account.

https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/1128245486262075393

To compare with the real Buterin account, here is a recent post shared by the Ethereum co-founder.

https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/1126933672857427968

To gain the knowledge needed to create these posts, the bot is constantly given various tweets, articles, and Reddit posts to get a better feel for Buterin’s general disposition. Aiding in this learning, Buterin actually recommended adding Reddit posts to the information that the bot evaluates.

The creator of the account, David Moskowitz, spoke with Hard Fork about the development, saying that he was inspired to use ML during a bootcamp with other developers that centered around AI tech. Upon discovering that there were already developers that have created AI-supported bot accounts for President Donald Trump, Moskowitz wanted to dip his feet in the water by connecting the tech with cryptocurrency.

He called Buterin “a prolific writer and tweeter,” which gives his bot plenty of content to learn from. He added that he believed Buterin would find the account to be in good fun, considering Buterin’s “good sense of humor.” Furthermore, Moskowitz said that he would likely appreciate the technology that supports the bot.

To encourage the public to try out their own variations of the body, the technology is completely open source, and Moskowitz specifically uses the GPT-2 deep-learning neural net, albeit a limited version. This is most likely due to the fact that creator OpenAI believed that the project was too dangerous for release, considering the ability to manipulate online communication, specifically in social media.

The neural net uses word prediction from what it has learned on the internet to develop sentences. According to Open AI, it can create samples that are fairly close to what a human would say and has relatively impressive coherence that can last throughout about a page of text. The bot made by Moskowitz still requires management, but the only changes that he makes are grammatical, like changing a capital letter. Still he feels confident about the posts, and understanding what Buterin would most likely write, which makes it easy for him to be selective.

At this point, Boterin is still learning, but Moskowitz wants to retrain it with new models that OpenAI produces. He points out that the biggest issue is that these bots need enough data to accurately mimic the user, but he is “cleaning up the full tweet and Reddit databases” to improve the quality.

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