Automated reward systems like YouTube algorithms necessitate exploitation in the same way that capitalism necessitates exploitation, and if you’re someone who bristles at the second half of that equation then maybe this should be what convinces you of its truth. Exploitation is encoded into the systems we are building, making it harder to see, harder to think and explain, harder to counter and defend against. Not in a future of AI overlords and robots in the factories, but right here, now, on your screen, in your living room and in your pocket.
I’m sure this will all be fine and in twenty years there definitely won’t be an uprising of brainwashed youth. See also, the Fake Peppa Pig problem, stuff that slips through the YouTube Kids cracks, The Elsa + Spiderman rabbithole, and the lucid nightmare of toddler YouTube.