The Landscape of Social Media is Being Reshaped by the Advent of Artificial Intelligence.

Anna Oneal
March 28, 2023
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly integrating into the fabric of our social media interactions on various digital devices, including smartphones and computers. The advent of new generative AI tools has simplified the creation of text, images, audio, and video, making content creation accessible to a broader audience.

However, the increasing prevalence of AI-generated content poses a challenge in distinguishing between what is authentic and what has been manipulated. According to Kristian Hammond, a computer science professor focusing on AI at Northwestern University, this challenge is anticipated to persist in the coming decade.

AI-generated materials are extending their reach across diverse platforms, including movies, TV shows, and popular social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat. Notably, AI has been employed to alter images of prominent figures like former President Donald Trump and Pope Francis. The winner of a prestigious international photo competition even utilized AI to produce a fabricated photo.

Victor Lee, an associate professor specializing in AI at Stanford University, emphasizes the need for caution when consuming AI-generated content. Whether it's text, video, images, or audio, generative AI can craft content that appears genuine but may lack truthfulness.

The impact of AI is also felt in the music industry, with AI creating songs that mimic the style of well-known artists and generating lifelike images of actors. Instances on platforms like TikTok have demonstrated how AI can deceive users into believing fabricated content, such as a song crafted to emulate popular artists like Drake and The Weeknd.

In the realm of television and film, AI's ability to replicate faces, bodies, and voices has prompted demands for protections from actors and writers. Bernie Luskin, director of the Luskin community college leadership initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that as AI becomes a global phenomenon, it will influence people psychologically and shape their behavior.

Despite concerns about deception, some experts see positive aspects of AI integration, suggesting that it will contribute to additional artistic elements. Kristian Hammond anticipates a new perspective on creativity as AI collaborates with humans in generating content.

However, the increasing sophistication of AI raises concerns about people being misled. As AI becomes more prevalent, there are worries that individuals may become indifferent to the authenticity of content, using AI tools to reinforce their existing viewpoints or to discredit political opponents.

Experts emphasize the need for norms, regulations, and guardrails to guide the responsible use of AI. Legal battles around issues like crediting AI as a co-author and the use of someone's voice or likeness are anticipated. The debate extends to considerations about associating individuals' images with inappropriate or misleading content.

In conclusion, while AI promises transformative changes, it also prompts a reevaluation of ethical standards and regulatory frameworks to navigate the evolving landscape of AI-generated content on social media and beyond.

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Anna Oneal

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