In this age of pervasive Internet access, the world is gradually moving towards digitisation. This is especially evident in the cultural realm, where the rapid development of internet culture has been facilitated by various new information technologies. In recent years, the incorporation of artificial intelligence, automation, algorithms, and data-driven methods into the internet culture industry has infused the internet ecosystem with a new vitality. Intelligence characterises this vitality. As Mark Zuckerberg once said, he hoped to find “a basic mathematical law that guides us to pay attention to specific people and events.” Consequently, Amazon introduced the so-called “anticipatory shipping” prediction algorithm, which uses artificial intelligence to predict what products you will order and then place them in nearby warehouses in advance for same-day delivery (Song, 2023). Nowadays, many people are spreading social culture with their own unique cultural behaviors based on these network information technologies. This blog aims to discuss and critically analyse the role, benefits, and limitations of the development of these intelligent information technologies from the perspective of Internet and scientific culture, as well as to propose the future development trend and application prospects of Internet intelligence.
As Kate Crawford points out in her book, “Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence,” today’s artificial intelligence is not merely a technical concept but needs to be understood as a socio-cultural complex connected to the economy, politics, and history (Crawford, 2021). When we think of artificial intelligence applications today, we often think of Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s cloud services, Tesla’s cars, or Google’s search algorithms. Just as Kate Crawford advocates for viewing artificial intelligence like a map, AI offers us a more open scale and perspective for applications. This year, intelligent software like ChatGPT and GPT-4 has emerged in great numbers, and at the same time, the usage of social media has skyrocketed. Using AI technology for writing has become a trend among overseas social media users. In addition, automation is also prominent, with Snap launching a chatbot called My AI and Spotify and YouTube using AI technology to develop automated platforms. Mark Andrejevic’s book “Automated Media” explores the cascading logic of automation, which manifests itself in the widespread use of digital monitoring and algorithmic decision-making in digital media and the internet, including automated agent management through Agent technology(Andrejevic, 2013). Today, algorithmic technology developed by AI is frequently combined with artificial intelligence, such as Google’s search algorithm, which replicates the entire internet in a local database, analyses all the links on web pages, and evaluates their popularity to determine which websites are useful through algorithms. In addition, algorithmic technology is used extensively in information security to prevent internet data breaches. However, due to frequent internet information leaks from Silicon Valley and Wall Street financial companies, the regulation of digital platforms has become a focal point.
Increased Efficiency and Safety
The improvement of information processing efficiency and security is one of the most significant benefits of artificial intelligence and automated algorithm technology to the Internet. In today’s era of data explosion, past internet technologies cannot meet people’s needs. By digitizing internet information, the emergence of artificial intelligence can help make information processing more efficient and accurate. Even large amounts of ambiguous information can be processed through the design of unique algorithms (Lü, 2022). Similarly, in the information age, big data not only brings opportunities but also challenges, and the internet carries significant security risks. Malicious attacks on internet information security systems, on the other hand, can be defended against at all times by introducing intelligent algorithms.
What appeals most to users and entrepreneurs about artificial intelligence and automated algorithms is the cost benefit. When users search for information on the Internet, the artificial intelligence agent management technology analyses the information and then searches automatically, saving the user’s communication time with customer service, saving the user’s time and manager, and allowing the user to experience the superiority of modern intelligent technology. Companies can significantly reduce development and operation costs by using human resources to process data. Artificial intelligence and automation algorithm technology can not only ensure the stability and accuracy of the operation process, but also reduce the need for human resources for information processing, which is beneficial to enterprises’ operation and maintenance benefits. (Sui, 2019).
Limitations and Concerns
Although there are many potential advantages to using new scientific information technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, algorithms, and data-driven approaches, there are still some limitations and issues to consider.
Questions and Bias in the Public
There is a value discrepancy between the public and engineers, especially in the fields of art and culture, which can easily lead to questions and bias. Jurij Krpan, an art director from Slovenia, believes that people have many misconceptions, misunderstandings, false perceptions, and false expectations about artificial intelligence. Although we can quickly become aware of biases within algorithms, the question is, are engineers willing to listen to our opinions? Engineers may not understand the artistic and cultural needs of artists, and artists, while innovative in their use of cutting-edge scientific technologies, have also raised questions about the social functions of emerging technologies such as AI and automation, such as data extraction methods, machine vision ideas, and how they affect our interaction with systems, surveillance, and AI. Some important questions about AI and art hope to transcend mere technological discussions, moving towards cultural reflection and questioning whether machines can create emotionally resonant artworks. Therefore, although concepts such as artificial intelligence, automation, algorithms, and data-driven approaches can attract attention, their true nature is an obscure field obscured by the eye, with the underlying logical concepts hidden from public view, leading to questions and bias.
The Hazards of Information Leakage
In today’s era of data, everyone’s information can be stored as a string of numbers on the internet. Although companies can enhance network information security using artificial intelligence, at this stage, most AI and information security algorithms are in the early exploratory stages, and specific security measures have not yet been implemented. The internet is currently vulnerable to malicious attacks, and significant security risks still exist, such as personal information theft and financial fraud.
Current Limited Technical Capabilities
Although the application potential of AI and other related intelligent technologies is immense, their scope is still limited by current technical conditions. As in the cultural exploration field, so far, only a small number of relatively easy-to-use algorithms and AI applications have been used for creating visual effects, text, and music. The works created using these applications may be suspected of having aesthetic convergence problems. This is because most algorithms and AI are in their infancy, and their application in many areas is not yet stable.
Despite the challenges of public prejudice, information security risks, and limited technology related to artificial intelligence and automation, their applications and expansions in various fields cannot be ignored. Although AI and automation technology concepts may not possess human-like innovation capabilities in the short term, they can fully utilize the digitization of today’s information, attempting to mimic human creation by generating data that is similar to the data sets used. In fact, in internet culture, there are many examples of collaborations between artists and programmers. The following is an example of the application of AI and automation media technology in dance.
Danish artist Cecilie Waagner Falkenstrøm often collaborates with programmers in her team, including internet self-media people, and her art stage play “Centaur” fully utilizes AI and computer algorithms. Cecilie Waagner Falkenstrøm worked with Pontus Lidberg, the artistic director of the Danish Dance Theatre, to design an AI that uses digitization to obtain a wealth of information, named after the structure and semiotics of planetary movements and Greek tragedy. They call this AI David, and Lidberg says, “David has understood more different forms of movement and has learned my dance style. After deconstructing this knowledge and integrating it with human dancers, we can create something entirely new.” According to evaluations, the “Centaur” dance performance is very popular in Europe. As a contemporary dance piece, it features nine dancers on stage interacting with the audience through a machine learning-based device, vividly illustrating the tense relationship between humans and machines. The AI-designed dance program fully demonstrates the unpredictability of AI choreography, with such unique and unpredictable beauty. Lidberg believes that this fully illustrates the relationship between humans and technology: unknown and interdependent.
Regulation and Oversight
In today’s data-driven era, there is a vast amount of detailed personal information and data. Harvard Law School Professor Frank Pasquale, in his book “The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information,” believes that behind the vast amount of data lies mysterious algorithms. The frequent occurrence of information leaks and legal disputes among many companies indicates that businesses may also abuse secret algorithms to seek information benefits.(Pasquale, 2015) To protect data, it is essential to strengthen the transparency of data collection methods in this era of massive data expansion. A good society should ensure that decision-making is fair for everyone, rejecting information inequality and advocating openness and transparency.
As today’s data-driven era allows people to escape reality to some extent, there are many anonymous users, false information, and even the use of intelligent algorithms to commit cybercrimes. These high-tech crimes are often difficult to trace and take a long time to solve. Therefore, we need smarter algorithms to combat them. Internet services based on algorithmic selection can also be used to restrain cybercrime through classification, search, prediction, monitoring, and filtering. The basic principles of algorithmic collaboration in social governance are thus revealed.
We once thought that cyberspace was a world without boundaries. However, as the internet increasingly becomes platform-based and a few technology giants dominate the global digital economy, concerns about information monopolies, racial issues, and the impact on media content producers and the creative industries are growing. In his book “Regulating Platforms,” Professor Terry Flew of the University of Sydney points out that the core of platform regulation is how to balance the external governance and internal governance of platform companies. (Flew, T. 2021)To fundamentally change the situation of abusing technology, it is necessary to establish a rule system for effectively governing digital platform markets and create a framework with both dynamic and distributive efficiency.
In this blog post, the relationship between humans and intelligent technologies (artificial intelligence, automation, algorithms, and data) is an interactive one, not a one-way transmission, but a communication and integration. Although AI, automation, algorithms, and data are the technological products we created due to demand, they have brought tremendous changes to our lives, subtly infiltrating every aspect of our lives and work.
As Dr. Vesna said, what artificial intelligence does is create a kind of mirror that reflects humanity in interesting ways. We created AI, and now it is affecting us. While we may struggle to understand things from the perspective of AI, automation, algorithms, and data, we will gradually regain our cognition. In the process of collaborating with machines, we are also integrating with them. In this process, AI and artists with practical experience in creating new cultural forms will play a crucial role.
In the future, we need to continue expanding the applications of intelligent technologies in information security, efficiency improvement, automated management, and more while focusing on solving public prejudice, information leakage, and technological limitations. Regulate the use and development of intelligent technologies, view the technological changes brought about by today’s information society from a broader perspective in terms of economy, politics, culture, history, etc., and constantly question and critically think about intelligent technologies to understand what we truly need.
Andrejevic, M. (2013). Automated Media. Routledge.p. 1, para. 2.
Crawford, K. (2021). Atlas of AI. Introduction, p. 8, para. 2.
Flew, T. (2021). Regulating platforms.p. 64, para. 2.
Lü, Z. (2022). Artificial intelligence advantages and its application in information processing work. Information Record Materials, (06), 81-83. https://doi.org/10.16009/j.cnki.cn13-1295/tq.2022.06.031
Pasquale, F. (2015). The black box society: The secret algorithms that control money and information.
Song, H. (2023). B2C e-commerce enterprise value creation research: A case study of Amazon. Shanghai Business, (02), 40-42.
Sui, M. (2019). Application of artificial intelligence in computer network technology in the era of big data. Electronic Technology and Software Engineering, (11), 244.