I made a Twitter bot named QR9000 that replies to mentions with the text of the tweet encoded as a QR code. Here’s the source code.

QR codes are a machine-readable format for the visual storage of arbitrary information. Evidently they were initially used to tag components on automotive assembly lines; it’s easy to imagine the manufacturing benefits you’d get, in terms of modular tooling, from handling each part as it arrives rather than relying on a pre-programmed sequence.

Today, QR codes are often seen in marketing materials intended to be scanned by people with smartphone apps instead of industrial robots. I am unconvinced that QR codes are better for advertising purposes than old-fashioned human-readable text and images; in many cases, they undoubtedly complicate tasks that should be straightforward.

But, like Cyberdyne Systems, the HAL laboratory at Urbana, Illinois, and innumerable other well-intentioned rogue AI creators, I made the bot anyway. Tweet it a URL and it’ll give you a QR code!

Posted on Monday, May 6th, 2013. Tags: .