Jul 3, 2021

Someone recently asked the question on Quora, How does AI affect social media?

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

Below is my Answer.

“There is big confluence between AI & Social Media. It is a two way thing, AI not only affects Social Media, Social Media also plays a great role in the development of AI.

The way AI is developed is through data, large data (big data) and one of the easiest ways to generate and source for data at this scale is from the contents and interactions on social media.

Most social media platforms operate at scale, so for issues such as monitoring or censorship of what is being posted, the admin of these platforms have to use automation and AI for its management and policing.

AI algorithms such as sentiment analysis or recommendation engines (used by Facebook & Youtube to recommend posts based on the AI understanding of what you will like) are very much an integral part of any social platform architecture.

AI is integral to how and when Adverts are delivered to you on social media. AI controls the engagement levels on your posts and ensures that people who are most likely interested in the topics or communities you belong to get recommended to you as connection; this is because engagement is key goal for every social media platform.

So as you can see, AI plays a very critical role in social media. But beyond this, it is also important to mention that not all the effects of AI on social media are positive ones. For example, AI ensures a never ending supply of content recommendation (recommendation engines) that can keep you engrossed in social media, using time in an unproductive way.

AI being used as an automated censorship tool on social media platforms can also mean that humans may no longer have complete control over what free speech should mean or how dissenting views can be morally managed.

Most AI algorithms used for social media are optimized for profit, benefiting the Advertisers, getting the users dopamine-addicted, and biased to fringe or contrarian views on their platforms.

Overall, the role of AI in social media cannot be diminished. It will continue to grow even deeper and more integral as we continue to generate more data on these platforms. AI models such as GPT-3 are benefactors to the rich data AI can be trained on from Social media.”

Footnote: We need to learn more on how to make AI an agent for good (AI4Good) as it helps us to make social media and our lives in general more meaningful.


#artificialintelligence #SocialMedia

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