Social Media: The Undiscussed Artificial Intelligence By Ganiu Bamgbose, PhD

Social Media: The Undiscussed Artificial Intelligence By Ganiu Bamgbose, PhD


Whatever be the discussion now, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the icing on the cake. There is the AI dimension to virtually every topic. Even though artificial intelligence is not as recent as many think, its tentacles have, certainly, got broadened beyond imaginable limits. Britannica defines artificial intelligence as a term “frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience”. Studies and positions abound on the use, misuse and even abuse of artificial intelligence but issues concerning AI and social media usage have not enjoyed inquiries. This short piece is, therefore, a catalyst for discussions on AI and social media, a topic which, of course, can be interrogated from numerous perspectives.

Basically, I am creating two kinds of awareness with this piece. On the one hand, I will be discussing the availability of AI-afforded devices for creative deployment on social media and on the other hand, conscientising social media users on how these devices that keep growing daily may stop your own growth.

In his article, Mike Kaput described the relationship between social media and AI as a match made in heaven. He further enlightens that every social media platform on the planet uses AI in some way to function. This is to the extent that AI dictates what content surfaces in your feed and it moderates comments and content to improve user experience. From marketing, to creating publicity for contents, the social media platforms serve as relevant outlets which AI algorithm can boost. It is deserving of mention that there is no venture that does not have a market on the social media– you teach, preach, sing, sew, make hair, make people laugh… someone on social media is waiting to have your craft as their craze. And with AI, you can do the feasibility study for whatever your product is on social media, generate contents for your products, boost visibility for what you do, among many other benefits. Networking opportunities also abound on social media for anyone who can make the best use of them.

On the other side of the discussion, one disturbing thing with the social media is how it regularly creates so much to engage viewers through the help of AI while disengaging them from their own life. From apps that make you finer than how you are in real life and clothe you without having to pay, to the ones that predict your looks at old age, the social media have got so much for everyone to relax with that you may forget you owe your life the responsibility of growth. If you would have loved to be a judge but didn’t get the chance to study law, social media present you with numerous disputes to adjudicate on. From why Yul Edochie had to get a second wife, to who did what between Comedian Ay and his wife before their marriage ended, you would always have cases to attend to on social media that the only case you may forget to treat is your own life reality.

To be a literate person in the 20th century was to have a properly sharpened brain from reading novels, magazines, the holy books, articles, text books and so on. With the advent of social media in the 21st century where fake, false and fabricated news are all many read online, a literate person might even be more myopic than someone who is unable to read and write. From reel, to status, to story, it is amazing how Facebook and other social media have grown in less than two decades, giving us so much to engage us while disengaging many from things that concern them. Like other AI devices, the social media can help you do a lot for yourself and can help boost an idle, lazy and unproductive life for the unconscious ones.

In conclusion, the discussion on artificial intelligence remains narrow without a proper exploration of the concept from the perspective of social media. And like scholars say, the discussion continues.

(c) 2024 Ganiu Bamgbose writes from the Department of English, Lagos State University.


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