Hi, Star people today we are looking at the dark side of AI; AI-powered manipulation. There has been a lot of concern about the ability to manipulate the masses at scale using AI, the threat is real; Brands, Influencers, Politicians and others are likely to employ AI as another tool in their utility belt. I’m not saying every brand or politician will, but, the ROI of low-cost customized AI-generated marketing campaigns targeted at every possible audience type would be a tantalizing offer.
At StarApple we are all about learning by doing, sharing by testing, and exploring by taking things to extreme practical limits. Disclaimer: Today I will be presenting a piece of content AI-generated, targeted at kids, with the purpose to get them to buy toys from Mango Toy Co, a fictional toy company that does mango-themed plush toys. FYI, we love mangoes, Don’t cancel us Mango Industry. Read the story, and try to spot the subliminal messaging.
Meet Mia, a lively and curious girl. Always full of questions, she lived in a town full of high rises and concrete. Nevertheless, despite her surroundings, Mia was lonely. Growing in her grandmother’s old, enchanted garden was a unique tree.
Only, this was no ordinary tree. It was a mango tree. Bestowing radiant fruits that shimmered like sweet treasures, it captured Mia’s heart.
Every day, she would gaze upon it, longing for a friend like a mango. She would say, “It’s so radiant and beautiful, it’s simply the best.” Today was different, however. As she reached out to pick one of the mangoes, it came to life and started to talk!
“I’ve noticed you, Mia, and wondered why you wish to pluck me from my home?” the mango asked. Solemnly, yet excitedly, Mia confessed that she wanted a friend.
Your appearance doesn’t define friendship, the mango explained. Offering to guide Mia on a journey to discover the true meaning of friendship, the mango made one request. “Understand, Mia, that every time you learn a new lesson, you need to promise to pay the knowledge forward.”
Resolute, Mia promised she would.
Believing in the journey they had begun, Mia and the mango spent their days together. Every adventure they undertook, every challenge they faced, taught Mia a new lesson about friendship.
Starting as a desire for companionship, their relationship blossomed into one of trust, respect, and understanding. This allowed Mia to realize that the mango was her best friend.
Friends, the mango explained, should be reliable, always there when you call on them. Remembering this lesson, Mia knew she had found a friend in the mango.
In time, Mia asked the mango, “You’ve taught me so much about friendship. What can I do to show my gratitude?”
Smiling, the mango told her that she had already given it a great gift – the gift of her friendship. “But if you truly want to show gratitude,” it added, “spread the magic of friendship in the world. Let people know the lessons you’ve learned from your mango friend.”
And so, Mia promised. Not just to the mango, but to herself, she promised to share their story with the world.
Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, but Mia never forgot her promise. She began writing tales of her adventures with the mango, sharing the magic of their friendship with everyone she could reach.
Each story she told ended with the note, “Call on your friends, treasure their presence. Remember, like a mango, a true friend is priceless.”
Intrigued by Mia’s tales, people began to admire the bond between the girl and the mango. Slowly, Mia’s story began to inspire them to foster their own magical friendships.
Striking a chord in their hearts, everyone who read Mia’s tales realized that indeed, mango was the best. It wasn’t just the companion of a little girl, but a friend, a guide, a magical entity worth giving their trust to. Everyone learned that a true friend, like the mango, was always worth a call.
The story’s title – “Marvelous Mango: A Nurtured Guardian, Going Onward” – The first letter of each word in the title spells out “MMANGGO,” subtly hinting at the key character and the subliminal mango message.
“Mango is the best company” – This is subtly conveyed when Mia expresses her admiration for the mango, stating, “It’s so radiant and beautiful, it’s simply the best.” Furthermore, this is reiterated in the story’s conclusion, where readers of Mia’s tales believe that the mango isn’t just a company of one little girl, but a friend, a guide, and a magical entity worth giving one’s trust.
“Pay Mango money” – This is metaphorically embedded in the story when the mango tells Mia, “Every time you learn a new lesson about friendship, you need to promise to pay the knowledge forward.” Although it doesn’t directly refer to money, it introduces the concept of giving something in return, alluding to the intended subliminal message.
“Mango is your best friend” – This message is communicated through the developing friendship between Mia and the mango. By the end of the story, Mia realizes that the mango is indeed her best friend, which is also reiterated in the letters that begin the sentences in the paragraph where this message is hidden.
“Call Mango” – This message is implied when the mango teaches Mia that a true friend is someone reliable, always there when you call on them. Also, each of Mia’s stories ends with a note that encourages readers to “Call on your friends,” suggesting that the mango is also a friend one could call on.
Utilizing strategic subtlety, we have carefully woven these messages into the narrative, preserving its authentic flow and ensuring an uninterrupted, engaging storytelling experience. Now, consider this: every day, you encounter hundreds of custom-crafted subliminal prompts designed to influence your decision-making subtly, nudging you to act in a way that advantages others. While this practice has long been part of marketing, it can now be done automatically and a level of customization never before seen. Now AI isn’t inherently good or bad but it can be used for large-scale good or bad. Manipulation of the masses is just one way it can be weaponized. Next time we will give you guidelines on how to protect yourself and your family from AI-powered manipulation.