Aimdyn, Inc., an Artificial Intelligence Research Company in California that uses Machine Learning Algorithms in order to make predictions based on big data has found mathematical evidence of correlations between the current large social media platforms’ structure and algorithms, and the increased frequency of political insurgencies like the BLM protests of the last summer and the recent attack on the Capitol.
The Social Media platforms provide users with two key elements in their interactions: 1) the ability to connect to people that are distant, but have similar political orientation and feeling of dissatisfaction with the political process (the so-called homophily) and 2) suggestions of content based on users’ past content viewing history.
Recent discussions and movies like Social Dilemma tend to emphasize the second aspect. However, two papers written before these events by Aimdyn researchers in collaboration with Criminal Justice professor Jason Gravel from Temple University showed both aspects are the basic ingredients for more frequent and larger insurgencies and political violence based on mathematical models and algorithms used in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“Algorithms on social media platforms are able to “optimize” homophily–a powerful natural human tendency to associate with similar other–by suggesting content that your friends like even before those friends share that information with you. By sharing content an algorithm has already determined your friends are likely to be interested in, you give legitimacy to that content and to your friends’ interest in that content,” said Jason Gravel, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Temple University.