How AI Hopes to Transform Social Media

December 27, 2017 • Devin Partida


AI and social media

The relationship between AI and social media is growing deeper than ever. With an increased focus on big data processing and management, some of the most popular online communities are using informatics in new and exciting ways. Many are even utilizing the technology to bolster the productivity of their users.

AI Research by the Facebook Development Team

It may come as a surprise, but Facebook is leading the pack in the race to combine AI and social media. They began dabbling in deep learning by the end of 2013 and they’ve been making steady progress ever since. Although much of their planning remains shrouded in secrecy, the AI-backed features we’ve already seen are incredibly groundbreaking and innovative.

Most of Facebook’s current research into AI and social media revolves around gaining better insight into why people share specific types of content across social media. According to Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, his site is “building systems that can recognize everything that’s in an image or a video.”

For now, Facebook users have to identify and tag friends in their digital photos manually. Depending on how many people are in a picture, or how many images you have on the site, this could be a painstaking process. But this could soon be a thing of the past thanks to AI.

Driving Productivity in Other Ways

Social media tends to come with a certain stigma attached. Although it’s often touted as a waste of time, modern social media has a lot to offer our current, tech-oriented society. It’s also had a direct impact on productivity both in and outside of the workplace – but it might not be the effect you expected.

Instead of hampering productivity, many studies indicate that social media – when used effectively – is beneficial to productivity. Businesses are using social media to connect with their customers, advertise products or provide helpful updates and informative posts. Their employees use it to connect with co-workers or exchange information.

But the average consumer enjoys most of the benefit. With AI powering fully automated and sophisticated chatbots, some of which are nearly identical to humans, it’s becoming commonplace to receive customer support at any hour of the day or night. Although many of the current chatbots serve company websites, they’re increasingly integrating into our online communities – and you might not even realize it.

Some experts think that chatbots might be the key to strengthening social media engagement and the individual customer experience. Sephora’s Kik chatbot, for example, frequently updates users with fashion and beauty tips. But this isn’t generic or random advice. Instead, the chatbot uses advanced AI analytics to target the specific interests of individual shoppers. Not only does this increase profitability on behalf of the brand, but it makes it easy for consumers to find the exact products or services they need.

The popular social media portal known as LinkedIn, which focuses on professional networks instead of personal relationships, utilizes AI to analyze a job applicant’s work history, identify their strengths and weaknesses and highlight opportunities that pertain to their specific skills. Other websites use similar, AI-powered tools to connect jobseekers with relevant positions.

The Future of Smart Social Media

As useful as all of these innovations are, they’re just the beginning of the AI revolution. Modern technology has already resulted in smart cell phones, home appliances and automobiles, and these inventions are growing more intelligent every day. When you combine this self-aware and self-learning technology with the accessibility and popularity of social media, it’s easy to see the potential for explosive growth centered on AI within the coming days, weeks and months.