Where is this road taking us?

(Or, What Happens when AI is Generating (and Consuming) most of the Internet’s Content?)

I have some lighter content I want to post, but I’ll come back to that later. Something was on my mind yesterday and I’d like to share my thoughts in-progress.

Fair warning, this isn’t a scientific thought experiment. I’m not a scientist so this may lean more toward the philosophical.

I was thinking about how more and more of the content on the Internet (whether it is articles, social media posts, chat, etc) is being produced by AI systems. Future versions of AI models will consume the content they created, in a feed-back loop. As this happens will it be a rapid, evolutionary cycle or will it be something else. Will the content become more diverse or will it be hard for this information ecosphere to ‘learn’ new ideas as existing knowledge is reinforced?

The other question I have is whether there is danger of humans being controlled, in a way, by consuming all this content not created by humans. Could there be emergent properties of this evolving system that cause it to create content not in humans best interest?

So I decided to ask GPT-3 about this. I wasn’t sure if it would ‘get’ what I was asking, but it did OK. It painted an optimistic picture where even though content is being produced by AI, the quality and diversity goes up, and humans use that info to their benefit.

I do not buy the optimistic answer I got from GPT-3. That said, it is really hard to predict what is going to happen. I’d love to hear other ideas on this.

Here is the conversation I had:

Human: what will be the impacts on society when most of the content on the Internet is created by AI and consumed by AI in a feedback loop?

AI: That’s a great question. There will be a lot of impacts on society when most of the content on the Internet is created by AI. 

One impact will be that the quality of the content will improve.

Human: give more examples of this

AI: Some other impacts could be that the content will be more accurate and informative, and that people will become more reliant on AI for their news and information. 

Human: will the content become more diverse or will it converge? 

AI: It’s hard to say for sure. However, it’s possible that the content will become more diverse as AI gets better at creating and understanding different types of content. 

Human: Will humans be effectively controlled by what AI is producing since AI will dominate the content? 

AI: That’s a really interesting question. It’s possible that AI could dominate the content to the point where humans are effectively controlled by it. However, it’s also possible that humans will be able to use AI to their advantage and create even more great content.

What do you think? What societal impacts do you expect?

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