Automation and AI at Work
An entertaining story about a savvy techie who used AI and Instagram to automatically post information and receive free meals.
By Rob McNelly05/21/2019
I’m going to explain to you how I’m receiving these free meals from some of the best restaurants in New York City. I’ll admit?—?it’s rather technical and not everyone can reproduce my methodology. You’ll either need a background in Data Science/Software Development or a lot of free time on your hands. Since I have the prior, I sit back and let my code do the work for me. Oh, and you guessed it, you’ll need to know how to use Instagram as well....
Some of this may seem like common sense, but when you’re automating a system to act like a human, details are important. The process can be broken down into three phases: content sharing, growth hacking, and sales & promotion....
So how did he do it?
... I needed to create an algorithm that can weed out the bad from the good. The first part of my “cleaner” has some hard-coded rules and the second is a machine learning model that refines the content even further.
I played around with a number of classification algorithms such as Support Vector Machines and Random Forests but landed on a basic Logistic Regression. I did this for a few reasons, first being Occam’s Razor?—?sometimes the simplest answer is the right one. ...
I wrote a Python script that randomly grabs one of these pictures and auto-generates a caption after the scraping and cleaning process is completed. Using the Instagram API, I was able to write code that does the actual posting for me. I scheduled a cron job to run around 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 7:30 PM every day.
At this point, I have a complete self-sustaining robotic Instagram. My NYC page, on its own, is finding relevant content, weeding out bad potential posts, generating credits and a caption, and posting throughout the day. In addition, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, it is growing its presence by automatically liking, following, and unfollowing with an intrigued audience which has been further redefined by some data science algorithms.
And in conclusion:
Due to the power of AI, automation, and data science?—?I am able to sit back and relax while my code does the work for me. It acts as a source of entertainment while at the same time being my salesman.
I hope this helps inspire some creativity when it comes to social media. Anyone can use these methods whether they are technical enough to automate or if they need to do it by hand. Instagram is a powerful tool and can be used for a variety of business benefits.
I've skipped most of the details, so by all means, read the whole thing. Crazy as it sounds, it's a fantastic example of what can be accomplished with machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Rob McNelly is a senior AIX solutions architect doing pre-sales and post-sales support for IBM Premier Business Partner Meridian IT Inc. More →
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