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The Scary Future Of Social Media

As it currently stands, Social Media is one of the biggest influences on pop culture and how people view the world. In the past, news and trending topics could only be found in newspapers, then radio broadcasts, television broadcasts, and finally the early internet. Today, social media is the dominant form of news publication and entertainment, especially in the world of Covid-19. While social media most certainly has the capabilities for great good, it has also proven itself to be a force of evil and misinformation. It’s undeniable that social media is an influence on the youth, but even people of older generations are easily swayed by posts on Facebook or Twitter, as long as they line up with their own philosophies and ideologies. So this raises the question, what are people willing to believe? In truth, anything. In the 2016 election, the victory of Donald Trump is strongly associated with Russian Bots/AI programmed to support Trump. This was 4 years ago, AI was able to sway enough people to vote on the position for the most powerful man on earth. Which to me represents that the implications of AI on social media can be taken much further or to even darker places. A quote from an expert on AI speaks on algorithms being used to manipulate people, it reads “ the algorithm may observe that exposure to certain pieces of content, among people with a psychological profile close to yours, has resulted in the sort of view shift it seeks. It may then serve you with content that is expected to be maximally effective for someone with your particular views and life experience. In the long run, the algorithm may even be able to generate such maximally-effective content from scratch, specifically for you.” People naturally like to read what they believe or have their beliefs be exploited to slowly push them into different forms of belief. Lots of racism is posted on the internet, it’s an open platform to vomit what you believe in onto the canvas of the internet. Algorithms and AI analyze this information and are learning more and more about humans every day. While we are nowhere near Skynet , we certainly are heading into a weird direction. Dating Apps in the future might auto-generate fake men and women to keep people active and using the app. A board troll could create bots to go on Facebook and Twitter to start fights and arguments. I believe that AI could very easily replace human to human interaction on the internet, without anyone knowing.

My favorite way AI can be used to mess with people is for the autogeneration of memes. Gen-Z are mega fans of post-modern comedy, and for those who don’t understand what this is, don’t worry, we really don’t either. But a picture of an oversaturated Frog with text that reads “Arson”, to me is absolutely hilarious. AI could get to the point where it analyzes vocal patterns and can start to replicate human speech. Which could go into a CSGO lobby and start fights in the chat or voice channels. People already complain too much about bot controlled players, how about bot controlled voices too? I think that the world needs to gear up and prepare for a possible future full of weird and strange things that could come with AI. AI is a tool, it can be used for good and evil. It helps with education in schools to learn where students struggle amongst many other advances. While Skynet i s most certainly not knocking on the front door. We must be prepared to not let anything similar to it manifest into our world and control us. Because, sadly, I’m not sure cybernetic T2 Arnold Schwarzenegger will be there for us.

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