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AI & Social Influencing

AI Monday, Jan 15, 2024

The latest AI Monday Helsinki took place at Tiedekulma, University of Helsinki on Monday January 15, 2024. The event delved into the realm of AI and Social Influencing, particularly relevant in the context of the upcoming presidential elections in Finland and the USA in 2024, as well as the EU AI Act.

The discussions focused on how AI algorithms are utilized on social media platforms, their influence in elections, responsible AI practices, and the impact of AI-based recommendation systems on social media influencers and audience relationships.

The event was hosted by Petri Malmelin, Co-Founder at Ämplify, and featured keynotes from Mikko Alasaarela, Impact Entrepreneur at Equel Social, Aleksi Knuutila, University Researcher at University of Helsinki, Saara Hyvönen, Co-Founder and Analytics Executive at DAIN Studios, and Essi Pöyry, Senior Researcher at University of Helsinki.

Slides available below.

Key Points

AI Algorithms on Social Media Platforms – Mikko Alasaarela

  • Social media platforms have evolved from personal networking to heavily relying on AI algorithms for content recommendation.
  • The shift towards algorithm-driven content has raised concerns about addiction, misinformation, and the undermining of social interactions.
  • “...if you look at this level of algorithmic content on the social networks the reason why Tik Tok has won social networking is that it’s not a social network it’s simply an algorithm that feeds you the most addictive content you can have.

Influencing in Elections – Aleksi Knuutila

  • AI’s role in elections is significant, with targeted influencing and generative AI being used to shape public opinion.
  • The ethical implications and potential risks associated with AI-generated misinformation and deepfakes in political campaigns are growing concerns.
  • Social media reflects political communication and public opinion, but also distorts it.

Responsible AI – Saara Hyvönen

  • Emphasizing the importance of ethical AI development, focusing on accountability, transparency, fairness, reliability, safety, and privacy.
  • GenAI could eventually lead to an increase of global GDP by 7% over the next decade.
  • The need for integrating responsible AI practices into all layers of development and operation, along with human oversight.
  • AI system owners are accountable for ensuring the AI is developed, deployed and monitored in a responsible way – but every person involved in the process should also feel accountable for considering the impact of the AI.

Social Media Influencers & AI – Essi Pöyry

  • AI-based recommendation systems are disrupting traditional audience-influencer relations, leading to more diverse and instantaneous content engagement.
  • The evolving role of influencers in the age of algorithmic social media and their impact on public opinion, especially among younger audiences.
  • Specific content qualities make people connect with unknown content creators.

Panel Discussion Insights

  • Experts discussed the future trajectory of AI in social influencing, raising questions about the balance between technological advancement and ethical considerations.
  • Predictions and debates on how AI might reshape social media, political landscapes, and the nature of digital interactions by 2030.

The discussions at AI Monday Helsinki highlight the rapidly evolving landscape of AI in social media and politics. With AI’s increasing influence, there is a growing need for responsible development and use, considering both the opportunities and challenges it presents. The event’s insights are particularly pertinent given the approaching elections and the progression of the EU AI Act, calling for a balanced approach to harnessing AI’s potential while mitigating its risks.

The talks

2024
Doors Open
2024
Petri Malmelin
Opening Words
2024
Mikko Alasaarela
AI Algorithms on Social Media Platforms
2024
Aleksi Knuutila
Influencing in Elections: Targeted Influencing & Generative AI
2024
Saara Hyvönen
Responsible AI
2024
Essi Pöyry
Social Media Influencers - How AI-Based Recommendation Systems Disrupt Audience-Influencer Relations
2024
Mikko Alasaarela, Aleksi Knuutila, Saara Hyvönen, Essi Pöyry
Panel Discussion
2024
Networking

The speakers

Senior Researcher
University of Helsinki
Co-founder
Ämplify
Co-Founder and Analytics Executive
DAIN Studios
University Researcher
University of Helsinki
Impact Entrepreneur
Equel Social

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