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Everyone Should Be Worried About What Reddit Is Up To

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses how Reddit, as an online platform, has played a significant role in shaping and categorizing human behavior, and how this could have implications for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems that are trained on Reddit content.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Reddit's Role in Categorizing Human Behavior

1. What is the key role that Reddit plays in categorizing human behavior?

  • Reddit excels at creating subreddits for specific types of human behavior and interactions, which then become the go-to labels and archetypes for those behaviors.
  • Subreddits like r/HoldMyCosmo, r/iamverybadass, and r/Catculations turn inchoate concepts into distinct, mainstream labels and memes.
  • Terms like "Karen," "Boomer," "Chad," "neckbeard," etc. have crystallized on Reddit and become the standard descriptors for certain stereotypes.

2. How does this categorization process on Reddit have the potential to impact AI development?

  • Reddit's content is being licensed to companies like Google and OpenAI to train their AI systems, raising concerns that the AI will learn about humanity based on these meme-driven, caricatured representations.
  • There is a risk that the AI will amplify the human tendency to oversimplify and categorize people into "hashtag collections," rather than understanding the nuances and complexities of human behavior.

[02] Concerns about AI Learning from Reddit

1. What are the author's main concerns about AI learning from Reddit content?

  • The author worries that teaching AI about humanity by feeding it content from Reddit's "meme-iest hangout" is akin to learning to paint fine portraits by looking at political cartoons - it will lead to caricatures and oversimplifications.
  • There are concerns about the equity and fairness of Redditors not being compensated for their contributions to this valuable corpus of human interaction that is being used to train AI.
  • The author questions whether it makes sense to use such an imprecise categorization engine as the basis for developing AI systems that will shape our world.

2. How does the author view the broader trend of oversimplifying human behavior into online labels and stereotypes?

  • The author acknowledges that this trend of creating overly simplistic labels like "Karen," "Boomer," and "MAGA" is not limited to Reddit, but is a broader phenomenon in the digital era.
  • However, the author still expresses concern that by building AI on top of this imprecise categorization, we risk creating robots that will further amplify and perpetuate these oversimplified representations of human behavior.
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