Photo Credit: CNET

The introduction of Meta AI is a major misstep for the social media giant (Op-Ed)

Artificial intelligence, commonly referred to as AI, seems to be permeating more and more aspects of our digitized spaces- a wide variety of streaming services, social media, order and delivery companies, technical support, and more have incorporated at least some level of AI into their user interfaces, designed to improve the user experience (UX) through heightened availability and responsiveness, convenience, speed, and more. 

Through all of this, one age-old adage keeps popping into mind; just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. 

This idea has been applied to multiple disciplines, especially science and technology, for decades, if not centuries. However, we seem to be pushing aside this thought and plowing full steam ahead into a new digital age that is dominated by something -quite literally in the name- artificial: false, superficial, and detached, not necessarily considering the consequences.

Meta, the tech giant in ownership of both Instagram and Facebook, recently unveiled their newest feature, Meta AI. This tool is powered by Llama 3, an open-source language model that is similar to Chat-GPT and other text-based AI generators. 

Users may interact with this tool in the “search” interface of each platform, delineated by a chat bubble with a shimmering aurora-themed circle and the message “Ask Meta AI anything.” 

Both platforms already have a heavy lineup of potential inquiries and topics, ranging from art process reels, random questions, garden tips, show recommendations, quotes, and more- a direct way to personalize your algorithm and be rewarded with content that is exactly as you want it. 

In my opinion, this is a disastrous move. 

Meta has already been in hot water in the past concerning user privacy and data breach concerns- it is quite bold for them to follow the trend of AI in social media platforms (I’m looking at you, MyAI on Snapchat) while also making it next to impossible (if not fully out of the question) to opt out of this service, pressuring individuals to give up, interact, and allow yet another layer of content preferences (and subsequent advertising choices) to be placed upon the user base.

It’s well-known that greed is the ultimate motivator for progress in digital media, far surpassing a genuine interest in UX or customer satisfaction. This feature can only become more and more pervasive in our experiences relating to social media and the digital scape- and legislation will always be too far behind to catch up. 

In the meantime, search and post wisely. Don’t allow Meta to deduce your existence to simple data and dollars any longer.


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