artificial intelligence will cause “information chaos”

Twenty years. Facebook celebrates its birthday this Sunday, February 4, 2024. Born from the mind of student Mark Zuckerberg, the platform quickly changed the lives of billions of Internet users. To the point that the company founded by the former Harvard student has become one of the most powerful in the world.

Facebook is a pioneer in a sector that has more and more users. However, although the future of social media may seem bright, it is under threat. “I have never been so worried”immediately confides Yannick Châtelain, professor-researcher at the Grenoble management school and specialist in new technologies and social networks.

“Censorship can protect freedom of expression”

According to him, the development of so-called generative artificial intelligence (which creates content) – such as ChatGPT or Midjourney – is shuffling the cards. “Artificial intelligence programs are now available to everyone. The latest smartphone models are equipped with it. Anyone can produce fake news”laments Yannick Chatelain.

What the researcher fears is the increasing quality of “deepfake” videos and photos, these false images that can easily be confused with reality. “ This will cause informational chaos because humans will no longer have the ability to discern truth from falsehood. And virality on social media is so fast that fake news (misleading information) video could have dire consequences »deciphers the researcher.

Two “crash tests” in 2024

And the year 2024 could mark the trend for the future of social networks. “There will be two crash tests: the Paris Olympics and the American elections”, announces Yannick Châtelain. According to him, French agencies expect to suffer more “one billion cyber attacks” during the Olympics, compared to 300 million in Tokyo in 2020.

But the real issue will be the presidential campaign in the United States. “Deepfake propaganda will invade the networks. Each world power could thus easily influence the outcome of the elections and therefore turn the fate of the world in its favor.says Yannick Châtelain.

Identify AI-generated content

The only way to protect yourself from this coming chaos? “Regular. “ But it looks more complex than it seems. And although the Twenty-Seven approved on Friday, February 2, the European agreement on the supervision of artificial intelligence, the regulation of AI is not yet guaranteed. “The EU has its agreement, China has its own text and the United States will have theirs. So there are so many possibilities to play on the edge when it comes to a global problem.”argues Yannick Chatelain.

Thus, the only way to guarantee freedom of expression on social media could be “censor or better identify” content generated by artificial intelligence. “In my opinion, all this content, which may be comical, artistic or propagandistic, should be reported to users, explains the researcher. Because it is impossible for the platforms themselves to be able to block content considered dangerous. »

Towards a technophobic society?

Otherwise, all content seen on the networks would become suspicious. To the point of generating global distrust in the Internet. “We have a new generation that knows the damage of false information on social networks (See below). If everything is wrong, we can expect a technophobia movement to emerge. »

And in this crisis, “only traditional media could maintain a good level of trust among public opinion”.

••• Apology from Mark Zuckerberg

“I’m sorry for everything you’ve been through. » Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg apologized to the US Senate this Wednesday, January 31, when asked about the dangers of social networks for children and teenagers.

Faced with victims of abuse on digital platforms and their families gathered in a room in the United States Congress, the head of the multinational Meta recognized that “No one should have to go through the things their families went through.”.

“Mr. Zuckerberg, you and the companies before us, I know you don’t think so, but you have blood on your hands. You have a product that kills people”Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told leaders.

In question, the devastation that social networks have caused to young people. The head of the network that counts more than two billion users He wanted to defend the numerous measures taken by his group to protect young people.

“We work hard to provide parents and teens with the support and tools they need to reduce risk”he assured. “Keeping young people safe online has been a challenge since the advent of the Internet and as criminals evolve their tactics, we must evolve our defenses too”he added.

Insufficient for senators who believe that Meta harms the “mental and physical health of young people”, citing the risks of addiction, cyberbullying or eating disorders. A large number of them want to implement more rules to better regulate these social networks.

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