In his latest Medium piece, Matt Chessen writes about a near-term scenario in which machine-driven communications (MADCOMS), essentially indistinguishable from human communications, will dominate social media with the aid of AI, influencing the thoughts of all those carbon beings who come into contact with it. Extrapolating this brave new world a little further, he envisions different political and cultural factions waging wars for hearts and minds via an onslaught of machine-based messaging. It will be, perhaps, like the elections of 2016 to the nth degree.
God help us all.
Unlike other technological innovations, which usually are a mix of boon and bane, it’s hard to see much good being delivered by such a framework. The downside, of course, is enormous.
Chessen knows his vision of tomorrow is incredibly fraught, asking: “Will this be the new Renaissance, or the next Inquisition?” Almost definitely, a realization of his prediction will provoke the latter.
We’re on the verge of a revolution — very soon, computers are going to start programming us, through ideas, culture, and eventually, our DNA.
We may have no idea this is happening to us.
To understand this, you really should start with the article “Artificial intelligence chatbots will overwhelm human speech online; the rise of MADCOMs.” There, I explain how emerging AI technologies will enable machine-driven communication tools (MADCOMs) that dynamically generate content for marketing, influence, politics, and manipulation. These MADCOMs will be running influence campaigns 24/7/365 all across the social web. But since the MADCOMs won’t be able to differentiate the human accounts from the machine-driven accounts, MADCOMs will run information ops on machines and people. The machines will talk back and run their own influence campaigns. The end result is the Internet being swamped by machines talking to other machines.
Much of this content will be dynamically generated. Sure, humans will configure the AI tools and give them objectives, but their content will evolve based on machine learning. And as they communicate and influence other machine-driven accounts, the MADCOMs behind them will evolve their content as well.
The end result could be machines becoming the driving force in our culture.
AIs are already creating news articles, novels, music and screenplays. Soon they will create memes, write jokes, drive political conversations, and promote celebrities. They will probably be jabbering away on Reddit and 4Chan, trying to convince humans that Coke is the real thing or that 9/11 was a coverup. They will be spinning all sorts of wild tales.
And in doing so, our creations will be programming us, through culture.•