Artificial intelligence continues to play a major role in all areas of science, technology, and business. Social media is one of the areas where this is most evident. From the content we consume, to the ads we watch, and beyond, AI is shaping the social media landscape in ways we couldn’t imagine before.
With that being said, most web users are unaware of the extent to which AI is embedded within their social networks of choice. The main reason behind this is because AI often works behind the scenes. In fact, social media features that are powered by AI are the ones we use most, without even realizing it.
Someone might say that this isn’t really an issue. Why should we know the arcane inner workings of artificial intelligence if all we want to do is look up cat pictures on Instagram?
There are two main reasons. One, knowing how AI works within social media empowers us to get more out of these platforms. Two, this kind of knowledge also enables us to use social media for commercial gain more effectively.
Bearing that in mind, here are the 5 ways AI has had an impact on social media up to this point.
1. Recommendation Engines
One of the main reasons people use social media is to find similar things to those they already like. This can be content, products, or even other users. One can do this manually by browsing, via third party links, or with the help of recommendations that the platform provides. This third option exists thanks to AI recommendation engines.
At its core, a recommendation engine is a system that compares your user profile with that of other users to find commonalities. Once the AI determines that you might like something based on your similarity with another user that does, you will get a custom recommendation. Recommendation engines are a vital part of social media marketing for business. They are integral for connecting users with business through targeted ads and content suggestions.
2. Facial Recognition
The option to tag people within images exists on most social networks. But few social media users are aware that this feature also works automatically, and with a great deal of precision. Recognizing faces within images is possible thanks to advancements in the field of computer vision, a subset of AI research focused on pattern recognition.
Facial recognition on social media has made it possible to create a truly personalized experience for users. Just by scanning a picture, social recommendation engines can learn enough about a user to connect them with people, products, and content that matches their profile.
3. Spam Detection
Spam has been a bane of the digital world ever since the early days of the web. It has always been easy for spammers to flood social media with low-quality comments, links to shady websites, shock images, and other forms of user-unfriendly content. Or at least that was the case until recently.
Social network providers have started experimenting with using AI to detect and combat spam automatically. While spam is harmful to users, for an AI it represents an inexhaustible source of data. The AI trains on this data through a process called machine learning, the result of which is the ability to detect spam with a great degree of accuracy.
Running a business page on social media is a completely different experience than maintaining a personal profile. For one, businesses interact with many more users on a regular basis than even the most outgoing social media butterfly. Moreover, if a business fails to meet the users’ expectations on social media, it can lose both its reputation and its profits. One of the ways to avoid this outcome is to host a chatbot on your social media channel.
A chatbot is in effect a conversational AI system designed to convincingly mimic the way people communicate in real life. Once you set up a chatbot on social media it can run indefinitely, answering user queries without the need for direct supervision. Chatbots are indispensable for businesses that want to strengthen their brand on social media with quality customer service.
5. AI Influencers
We saved the best for last. The current pinnacle of AI-social media integration are virtual influencers. These ‘individuals’ are built using next-gen 3D modeling software to give them the appearance of actual people. And thanks to social media automation tools, these virtual influencers can share content, post comments, and do almost everything regular users can.
Shudu and Miquela are two prominent examples of these virtual celebrities. From a business perspective, these AI influencers are an excellent tool for branding, since they’re initially a blank slate. All you have to do is model them to your liking, place them against a digital background, and have them post what you like.
Artificial intelligence has had a far-reaching impact on all areas of science, technology, business, and even our everyday life. It comes as no surprise then that social media was strongly affected as well. But what’s even more exciting is the fact that we’ve only just begun to explore the possibilities of AI-social media integration.
In the future, AIs will slowly abandon their roles as workers behind the scene on social media, in order to become fully-fledged digital citizens.
Author Bio: Jennifer Wilson is a writer at Qeedle.com She knows business processes and operations management inside out. As she understands all the challenges of running a small business firsthand, it’s her mission to tackle the topics that are most relevant to entrepreneurs and offer viable solutions.