ResearchGate Twitter Flickr Tumblr

James Vincent at The Verge:

LinkedIn announced last week it’s using AI to help write posts for users to chat about. Snap has created its own chatbot, and Meta is working on AI “personas.” It seems future social networks will be increasingly augmented by AI.

According to his report, LinkedIn has begun sharing “AI-powered conversation starters” with the express purpose of provoking discussion among users. Reminder here that LinkedIn belongs to Microsoft; also, as Vincent quips, LinkedIn is full of “workfluencers” whose posts and engagement baits range in tone from “management consultant bland to cheerfully psychotic,” which is, happily, “the same emotional spectrum on which AI tends to operate.”

But conversation starters might be merely the beginning. Vincent imagines semiautomated social networks with fake users that “needle, encourage, and coddle” their respective user bases, giving “quality personalized content at a scale.” And while that’s mostly tongue-in-cheek, there’s an observable vector for that with conversational chatbots populating more and more social media sites like Snap or Discord.

And then there’s Facebook:

Meta, too, seems to be developing similar features, with Mark Zuckerberg promising in February that the company is exploring the creation of “AI personas that can help people in a variety of ways.” What that means isn’t clear, but Facebook already runs a simulated version of its site populated by AI users in order to model and predict the behavior of their human counterparts.

Welcome to Hell on Earth. I’m sure all this will turn out fine.