The Gift Bot

Dec 1 2012 @ 11:21am

As part of an art experiment, Darius Kazemi created the Amazon Random Shopper, a bot that randomly sends him gifts:

I built Amazon Random Shopper. Every time I run it, I give it a set budget, say $50. It grabs a random word from the Wordnik API, then runs an Amazon search based on that word. It then looks for every paperback book, CD, and DVD in the results list, and buys the first thing that’s under budget. If it found a CD for $10, then the new budget is $40, and it does another random word search and starts all over, continuing until it runs out of money, or it searches a set number of times.

He defends the "waste" of money:

The way I look at it is this: I’m spending $50 a month on art supplies. Some people might spend $50 a month on painting supplies: canvas, paint, brushes, etc. For me it’s a bit more abstract than that, but that’s what I’m doing.

His first shipment arrived recently. Rain Noe justifies the project:

Even without Kazemi's programming skills, many of us already have a similar crap-buying mechanism, though it only comes 'round during the holidays: They're called relatives.

(Hat tip: The Morning News)