An up-and-coming actor has provided a bizarre explanation for why he liked and followed a bunch of bigoted posts and profiles: that AI had something to do with it.
Best known for his role as Ambrose Spellman on Netflix's "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," actor Chance Perdomo has in recent days caught flak on social media for liking a bunch of misogynistic "red-pilled" posts on Instagram and Twitter and for following "trad masculine" accounts with names like "rightwingsavages" and "unwokeism."
The news was surprising, particularly because Perdomo's character on "Sabrina" was notably pansexual. At first, the actor first started un-liking and un-following the offending posts and pages. And now his team has put out a statement with the eyebrow-raising suggestion that an unnamed AI had been controlling his account and faving the bad posts.
"My team and I are investigating following recent mismanagement of my Twitter and profiles," Perdomo wrote in the apology post. "The operator in charge of social engagement and audience growth has since been fired. We will no longer be utilising AI vendors for audience, engagement and demographic expansion. Legal action may follow."
"In no way shape or form do the following or likes of either account reflect my personal beliefs or viewpoints," the statement continued. "I will be closely guarding and operating my professional socials for the foreseeable future."
At first glance, the statement seems like pretty standard fare for celebrities in the social media era, kinda-sorta apologizing for the bad behavior while offloading the blame on an unnamed third party.
Perdomo's statement, however, introduces a fascinating new element: rather than just saying he was hacked, or blaming the likes and follows on an errant but human social media manager, the young British actor appears to be saying that an unspecified AI service is to blame.
It's unclear from the post itself what role AI would have played in Perdomo's social media management, though Futurism has reached out to the actor's representatives for clarification. That said, it's strange to blame likes and follows on AI when current social media management software conventions generally don't include algorithms liking and following content of their own volition.
Indeed, while social media automation tools like Hootsuite and Buffer are nothing new, those software are mostly used to schedule content and find out how well an account's posts are doing. These tools are, of course, used by outsourced social media agencies whose theoretical employees could easily have had access to Perdomo's accounts, but if a human was responsible for the likes and follows, why wouldn't his statement have said so?
One likely explanation, of course, is that AI is being used as a scapegoat the way hacking was used until recently because, like hacking, it's misunderstood by the general public and most people probably won't question too much if someone uses it as an excuse for bad online behavior.
Then again, there's no reason that a piece of rogue software couldn't start interacting with bigoted content if, say, red-pilled accounts started commenting on Perdomo's posts and, in its directive to up engagement and without any training telling it not to, an AI started following and engaging back with those pages.
Whether we're seeing a new frontier in lame celebrity excuses or an unsettling new way that AIs can reflect human bigotry back at us, there seems to be a lot more to this case than meets the eye — but rest assured, we'll be watching closely regardless.
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