Elon Musk Warns Kids Are Being Trained by Social Media, Says AI Used to ‘Maximize Dopamine’

‘A lot of social media is bad for kids, as there is extreme competition between social media AIs to maximize dopamine!’ Mr. Musk said.
Businessman Elon Musk has warned parents of the risks posed by their children spending too much time on social media, stating that artificial intelligence (AI) is effectively being used to ensure dopamine maximization.
Mr. Musk, who owns the social media platform X, issued the warning while speaking at the VivaTech 2024 tech conference in Paris on Thursday, where he appeared remotely via webcam.
The Tesla CEO urged parents to limit the amount of screen time they allow their children to have on social media, noting the growing risks associated with the advanced technology, particularly when it comes to addictive algorithms that keep kids scrolling online.
“I do worry that kids these days are being trained by social media,” Mr. Musk said, adding that AI algorithms are “basically dopamine maximizers.”
“So they’re trying to maximize the amount of dopamine that you get by watching the screen,” he continued. “So that I would say, I would urge parents to limit the amount of social media that children are able to see because they’ve been programmed by a dopamine-maximizing AI.”
Mr. Musk later shared a video of his appearance at the tech conference on his X account, writing alongside it: “A lot of social media is bad for kids, as there is extreme competition between social media AIs to maximize dopamine!”
His comments come as lawsuits continue to mount against Facebook’s parent company Meta, which also owns Instagram.
One of those lawsuits, filed by the attorneys general of 33 states, alleges the social media giant designed and deployed harmful features—including AI— to take advantage of young users and their susceptibility to addiction, thus helping fuel the youth mental health crisis.
Meta Altered ‘Social Realities’ of Young Americans’“Meta has harnessed powerful and unprecedented technologies to entice, engage, and ultimately ensnare youth and teens,” the complaint read. “Its motive is profit.”
Meta’s platform algorithms, the lawsuit added, result in users descending down “rabbit holes,“ where they tend to stay for long periods, while the company has ”profoundly altered the psychological and social realities of a generation of young Americans” through technologies that boost engagement.
The lawsuit also alleged the social media giant has actively worked to conceal any evidence regarding the psychological harm the company causes.
Meta has vehemently denied the claims made in the lawsuit.
However, the company is also facing a string of other lawsuits alleging similar claims, including that its apps promote body dysmorphia and expose underage users to potentially harmful content.
The European Commission, the European Union’s executive branch, is also probing the media giant over concerns it is failing to protect children online and possibly breaching EU laws.
AI an ‘Extremely Knowledgeable Teacher’Elsewhere during his remote appearance at VivaTech 2024, Mr. Musk discussed how he believes AI will “dramatically affect” the education landscape in the future, bridging the gaps in areas with limited access to education and providing children with their very own tailor-made personal tutors.
“AI is an extremely knowledgeable teacher, very patient, will be almost always correct, and can tailor the lessons specifically to the child,” he said. “It would be like each child has Einstein for a teacher, so it would be quite profound.”
The businessman also cautioned the audience that AI will likely take over the majority of jobs going forward.
“Probably none of us will have a job,” Mr Musk said.
Under such a scenario, there would be universal high income, a concept under which every member of society receives a high income and there is “no shortage of goods or services,” according to Mr. Musk.
However, such a scenario would also likely leave humans questioning their meaning in life, the businessman said.
“Any job that somebody does will be optional like if you want to do a job that’s kinda like a hobby, you can do a job,” he said. “But otherwise, AI and the robots will provide any goods and services that you want.”

{Categories} _Category: Applications{/Categories}
{Author}Katabella Roberts{/Author}
{Keywords}Artificial Intelligence,Europe,Social Media,Tech,World News{/Keywords}

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