Advanced AI to manipulate social media: Elon Musk



Elon Musk, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO warns that ‘advanced AI’ will soon manipulate social media platforms. Musk made the alarming warning in two tweets and said, Anonymous bot swarms deserve a closer examination. If they’re evolving rapidly, something’s up.


Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 26, 2019


Musk warned that, anonymous bot swarms deserved closer attention. Bots are autonomous programs that often attempt to game social media, either by retweeting a specific tweet to promote it across the platform, or to sow disinformation across the platform by making it look like thousands of people are tweeting about the same bit of (fake) news.


Musk says, that if it’s found that bot swarms are evolving rapidly-it’s a big signal something is up. It’s unclear if Musk has access to research or information that suggests bot swarms are indeed “evolving rapidly.”


In a follow-up tweet Musk elaborated on his first warning by saying that if advanced AI-which he describes as artificial intelligence beyond the capabilities of regular bots-hasn’t already been applied to manipulating social media, it won’t be long before that happens, though he doesn’t give a timescale.

Musk refers to an “advanced AI” manipulating social media that doesn’t mean that the AI needs to be sentient and doing so of its own accord. Less-advanced AI could be unleashed upon social media by nation-states with enough resources to game the platforms to spread the information-or disinformation-they want.

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