In science fiction AI is often seen as an upcoming power trying to overthrow human authority, usually in the form of humanoid robots. There might be a lot of time left until our world will look like in the Matrix, but let's take a look at what bots are already doing on the Internet (which can be for some people even more important than the real life).
1) A programmer
2) Captcha recognition - A CAPTCHA is a program that can generate and
grade tests that:
* Most humans can pass, BUT
* Current computer programs can't pass
Some captchas are weak, can be easily passed by computer
programs, and the most important: EVEN THE MOST COMPLICATED CAPTCHAS CAN BE MASS RECOGNIZED USING CHINESE METHOD (which means simply hiring a couple of people to type in captchas all day long)
3) A couple of compromised computers or a list of open proxies/winsocks
...and you get this:
* mass forum spams
* blog comments spam
* contact forms spam
* email spam is too old to mention and it does not even require captcha recognition, however it can now extend to new levels because you will get spammed from yahoo/gmail/hotmail legitimate accounts, no longer just with fake headers
Basically any form of free registering account can now be abused.
You'll say that's why there are forum moderators. But what a moderator can do when you get 1000 new threads/hour from usernames made from different IP addresses? I guess all they can do is to turn off new user registration.