I also keep thinking about this quote from the Jaron Lanier Guardian piece:
As for Twitter, he says it has brought out the worst in us. “It has a way of taking people who start out as distinct individuals and converging them into the same personality, optimised for Twitter engagement. That personality is insecure and nervous, focused on personal slights and affronted by claims of rights by others if they’re different people. The example I use is Trump, Kanye and Elon [Musk, who now owns Twitter]. Ten years ago they had distinct personalities. But they’ve converged to have a remarkable similarity of personality, and I think that’s the personality you get if you spend too much time on Twitter. It turns you into a little kid in a schoolyard who is both desperate for attention and afraid of being the one who gets beat up. You end up being this phoney who’s self-concerned but loses empathy for others.”
(Via Ran Prieur)
There’s a lot to unpack here, and I’ve tried a little to do so in some of my AI lore books, especially The Gestalt Minds and Inside Princeps. My versions veer off into sort of pulp sci fi explorations of some of those themes. It makes me think of a storyline, what if the purpose of apps was to make & regulate composite/collective human personalities, rather than sort of an accidental (maybe) byproduct of bad design choices?
Highly personalized AI would certainly be an ideal vector in a story like that, the gaslighting AI app that functions completely different for different people, but is slowly merging them into hyper-personalities…