Oh, Hey, I Think the Internet is Eating Itself

I mean, just think about that title a bit and the blog writes itself. Except it doesn’t so I have to make my fingers do the work to explain what I mean with this big bold statement.

With the proliferation of AI, the Internet is going to become 100% useless very quickly. Now, I know that at the current moment, the Internet is about 95% useless, but I feel like the widespread use of AI for literally dumb things is going to push it the other 5% of the way.

I’m gonna try to explain what I mean, but please be warned, I don’t think it is gonna make sense.

First off, I have been feeling this for a while. I’ve watched AI take jobs from graphic designers and writers and editors all over the place for the past few years.

At first, it was a few annoying people, using AI to further their business or personal interests.

Then more and more people I loved and respected started using it in places where they would have hired another human to create something for them.

Now, I feel like I see more AI art than I do regular art.

And I don’t mean only that fantastical DALL-E or whatever stuff. You know what I mean, right? The stuff where a mediocre person has made themselves into a god or goddess surrounded by things that make them look cool and awesome? That looks like it was airbrushed with the patriarchy?

Do you know what I mean?

Well, the AI crap has leaked out from that style of stuff and has moved into flyers and posters and book covers and movie posters. You know, the things artists used to get paid real money for. The small artists – the ones making $25 to $50 a pop.

Now, many of their references and previous work are being used so that computers can mash ’em all up and spit them back out.

I’m talking about visual art right now, but it also applies to writing.

In writing, I’m not just talking about the people who are asking AI to “create a promotional plan for this book” or write a school essay or anything like that.

I’m also talking about folks using AI for their social media posts, business or personal. Or use it to comment on social media.

This breaks my brain.

The root of social media, the beginning of it – was human interaction. It was a place where humans could virtually meet and interact and get to know each other and learn and exchange knowledge and so many other things.

But the root was that, in general, it helped us not feel so alone. It helped us realize that there were people out there like us – weird and not fitting into the places where we physically lived.

So we lived online for a long time.

Online doesn’t feel safe anymore.

It felt safer when I was an 18-year mother with a 1-year-old whose mother was encouraging her to lead on grown-ass men online so that she might get some gifts sent to her.

As fucked up as what I’m about to say is, I cannot say it’s not true. On the Internet, I felt safer when I was letting myself be exploited like that than I do now.

And I think the root of that is that I feel like my safe space has been taken away from me.

Let’s look at marketing, which is where I make my bread and butter. (very little bread and butter, so I make my own a lot, lol)

If I’m interacting with a company online, I’m doing it because I want to interact with the humans that run it. Not robots they spent money to spit out nonsense.

There are so many AI/Bots/etc in the comments of posts these days. If the posts themselves are written by AI too, where has the fucking humanness of the Internet gone?

It was TikTok for a while, but AI and bots are seeping in more and more, making it difficult to wade through the mess.

More and more companies are using AI for their social media posts – both art and words and seeing it hurts my brain and my heart.

It makes me sad.

If AI is creating the posts for companies and AI is used to do the engagement portion of social media (this is where companies pay folks to “act” as the company’s Instagram or facebook account, commenting on posts and pics, etc. You know, engaging with the community.

If AI is doing it all, that’s just robots talking to robots, isn’t it?

We are all so thirsty for true human connection, but we keep leaning on these tools that take humanity away from everything we do.

Have you tried googling anything lately? Remember when you used to find the things you wanted to when you did a Google search?

Now, it’s a few ads, a few artificially boosted SEO-heavy posts, and, maybe a couple of pages into your search, the information that you were actually looking for.

So, if robots are making social media posts and commenting on them, where is the place for people like me? People like you? People who like reading words that humans wrote and seeing art that humans arted?

What’s left for the people who value originality and unexpectedness? Where do we go? I don’t want to talk to robots, but it’s getting increasingly hard to tell humans and robots apart on the Internet these days – and I have a VERY keen eye.

So, I dunno what I’m ranting about really. I just wanted to get these thoughts out somewhere.

The internet is eating itself and I feel like social media is where it will get its fill first.

Here is a postscript: I don’t think all AI is bad, it has its uses for certain tasks. Just not everything. I know this all very “Old man shakes fist at sun”, but I miss when the Internet felt safe and human.

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