Kevin Systrom: AI Will Super-Power People Instead of Taking Jobs
In a world where artificial intelligence (AI) has been the subject of both awe and apprehension, Kevin Systrom, the co-founder of Instagram, stands as a beacon of optimism. Speaking at AsumeTech Disrupt 2023, Systrom shared his belief that AI will not be a job killer but rather a force that empowers individuals. This vision comes as he co-founded Artifact, a news aggregation startup that harnesses AI to transform how we consume and interact with news.
A History of Technological Revolutions
Systrom’s perspective is grounded in historical context. He pointed out that with every major technological revolution in the past, there were concerns about job displacement. Yet, the internet, personal computers, and mobile phones have unlocked countless opportunities and innovations, creating new roles and industries. Systrom emphasized, “We adapt, find ways to adapt, and then discover new jobs.” He says AI will follow this pattern, making people “super-powered.”
Contrasting Views in the AI Space
Systrom’s outlook contrasts many prominent figures in the AI space who warn of existential risks associated with AI. Figures like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, and others have urged global attention to AI’s potential dangers. Systrom, however, believes that AI’s positive impact will outweigh its risks.
Artifact: AI-Enhanced News Experience
Systrom and co-founder Mike Krieger are trying to redefine news consumption with Artifact. The startup leverages modern AI technologies to create a personalized news reading experience while addressing the issues of clickbait and fake news.
AI’s Role in Artifact
Artifact employs AI in several innovative ways:
- Summarizing News Articles: AI algorithms distill lengthy news articles into concise summaries, saving users time and providing quick access to essential information.
- Rewriting Clickbait Headlines: AI rephrases sensational headlines, presenting news more factually and objectively.
- Personalized News Selection: The app uses AI to curate news content based on users’ interests and preferences, ensuring they receive relevant information.
- Prioritizing Quality Content: Unlike platforms prioritizing click-driven stories, Artifact uses AI to surface high-quality content. It even discovers hidden gems from lesser-known writers.
Discovering Independent Personalities
Systrom believes that Artifact can potentially bring independent writers into the spotlight. AI’s ability to recognize and promote quality content goes beyond mere click-through rates. This approach contrasts with competitors like SmartNews, which often prioritize sensationalism over quality.
AI’s Influence on Information Consumption
Systrom draws inspiration from AI-driven content recommendation systems, like those seen on TikTok. He believes AI’s role in determining what people see goes beyond who they follow; it’s about their interests. This insight fueled his passion for addressing the challenges of information and news consumption.
Artifact’s Latest Release: Links
Artifact’s commitment to providing valuable and exciting information has led to its latest release, Links. This feature allows users to share noteworthy URLs, contributing to the app’s personalization algorithms. AI helps users discover content that aligns with their interests.
The Road Ahead for Artifact
While Systrom acknowledges that Artifact is still exploring its product-market fit, he is confident that machine learning, large language models, and mobile technology will be pivotal in the app’s success. The startup is actively working on scaling its innovative approach to news aggregation.
In conclusion, Kevin Systrom’s perspective on AI diverges from the doomsday narratives often associated with artificial intelligence. He envisions AI as a tool that empowers individuals, and his work with Artifact demonstrates his commitment to creating a new consumption experience that is both informative and meaningful, thanks to the power of AI. As the world grapples with the ever-evolving AI landscape, Systrom’s optimism shines as a hope for a future where people are “super-powered” by AI technologies.