The Rise of Digital Disengagement

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Posted in: Artificial Intelligence, News
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Patriots, we’ve got a new report from Europol that’s predicting a major shift in the digital landscape. Up to 90% of all online content could be generated by AI within the next two and a half years. That’s right, only a small fraction of content will be created by actual humans. Now, we’ve all seen bots around, causing chaos in the comments section or spamming posts that everyone knows are fake. But the prospect of a sea of artificially-generated content is something else entirely, with very few original pieces to be found.

The Rise of Digital DisengagementAnd there’s another problem here..  As AI-generated content permeates the web, the data that AI is trained on – which is taken from the same web – is increasingly going to be influenced by itself. That means we’re heading towards a creative decline of proliferating iteration in an effective vacuum. Artists may not need to be so frightened after all, because while humans can discern the good from the bad through their capacity for enjoyment, AI has no such ear. Its already garbled output can only get worse when it learns mainly from itself.

Now, the impacts of this trend are already being felt. Twitter and Reddit have made moves to limit scraping on their sites, not just to prevent bots diluting their content value or for fear of third-party apps, but also because their sites are prime ground for data collection that feeds into AI with no costs associated. Social platforms are seeing rights-free scraping benefitting AI companies’ potential margins, while having no returns of their own to show for it. It’s a bad time considering the economic downturn is causing shareholders to come asking for actual revenue returns, rather than just user growth.

All this is quelling the thriving digital culture of the ‘global town square’; limitations that keep out the bots also keep people out as well. The feedback loop of rising amounts of AI content is quelling the enthusiasm users have for social platforms. This is because the content on them can no longer be trusted to be from real people. Ironically, entertainment and fandom-focused hubs are becoming prime places for connection. Gaming offers socialization in an engaged, active context with like-minded people; and fan communities thrive on TikTok.

But the trajectory is clear, folks. Social platforms are becoming interactive content platforms. Socialization is happening everywhere – in real life, on private messaging, and in gaming sessions. Users are increasingly being faced with unreliable AI-generated content, ads, and intrusive thoughts from chronically online denizens of humanity – resulting in potential digital disengagement.

We’re already seeing increased vinyl sales; film cameras are back on the rise, live events are increasingly cut-through moments made consciously irreplicable in the digital world in order to stand out, and social media ‘cleanses’ are a growing trend. The rise of digital disengagement may be a long-term trend, but everything is faster in the world of web 3.0, so it may not be nearly as far on the horizon as one might hope (or worry).

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