Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it. Many people are upset with how social media rolled out and took over too many brains in Western civilization.
I am not writing a screed against social. Heck, I was an early advocate. Nor am I writing to disparage any Silicon Valley titan associated with social. You could make a strong case that they deserve their billions, but I won’t.
Social is a problem of human creation, and at the moment, a human-created solution may be riding to the rescue. It’s not certain, and it is not even planned from what I can observe, but it strikes me that AI might be the antidote to bad social.
Let’s keep in mind that we don’t want to paint the whole social landscape with the same brush lest we become the thing we oppose.
So, the term bad social is advisedly chosen. It came to me watching the early events of Dreamforce, billed by Salesforce as the biggest AI conference in the world, that AI could be the answer to at least some of our social woes.
Salesforce adroitly promotes its tenets of “Trusted and Ethical AI,” which includes “Your data is not our product,” a succinct, if somewhat oblique, shot across the bad social bow and those of its enablers.
Other tenets may not ring as true, but in the AI future, they will. I think those tenets are worth expressing, so here they are:
- You control access to your data
- We prioritize accurate, verifiable results
- Our product policies protect human rights
- We advance responsible AI globally
- Transparency builds trust
AI as the Antidote to ‘Bad Social’
I don’t expect Salesforce to become the global policeman of bad social; it’s not their job. Rather, I expect the proper use of AI and adoption of its tenets industry-wide will crowd out bad social in the same way a new product or category can crowd out an older one.
For instance, nobody killed off the Blackberry. Apple simply announced the iPhone and market forces did the rest.
You may ask why I might be so sanguine about these prospects, and the answer is simple. Money is involved, and lots of it. Salesforce estimates that its AI revolution will be worth over $2 trillion by 2028. Nobody wants to miss a chance at that payday, which means that AI adoption, along with those tenets, is nearly assured.
What’s been missing in the losing contest against bad social has been an ability to chase down misinformation to the root and to overpower it with truth. That’s exactly what AI can do.
More importantly, AI can flood the zone with truth in a way that only millions of zombie social conspiracy theorists have been able to do since nobody will want to do business with zombies if they can avoid it.
At some point, the answer to the question of who you are going to believe will axiomatically default to AI. Trusted AI. Ethical AI.
That’s just Day 1.