Dead internet theory spreads unsettling AI content

Dead internet theory spreads unsettling AI content

Unsettling AI

The “dead internet theory” has gained attention recently, with AI-generated images like “Shrimp Jesus” going viral on social media. These bizarre combinations of crustaceans and religious iconography have garnered thousands of likes and comments on platforms like Facebook. The theory suggests that most internet activity and content, including social media posts, are now predominantly created by artificial intelligence.

These AI agents rapidly generate content designed to farm engagement, such as clicks and likes. Some believe the motivation behind these accounts is simply to earn advertising revenue. However, others suggest a more sinister purpose, with AI-driven accounts building influence that can be used to support various agendas, including political propaganda.

There is evidence that social media is being manipulated by bots to sway public opinion.

AI creates fake internet content

A 2018 study found that bots were disseminating articles from unreliable sources on Twitter.

Pro-Russian disinformation campaigns have also been uncovered, using bots and AI to spread fake information. With advancements in AI, the quality of fake content is improving. Social media platforms are working to combat this misuse, but it remains a challenge.

The dead internet theory serves as a reminder to approach online content critically, as any interaction or trend could be synthetic, designed to influence our perceptions. The freedom to create and share thoughts online made the internet powerful. It’s this power that bad actors are now seeking to control.

The dead internet theory highlights the importance of skepticism and critical thinking in navigating today’s digital landscape.

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