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Is Artificial Intelligence a Friend or Foe?

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is advancing so fast that our government and private companies are rushing to try to get ahead of the curve. This new age of AI technology has ushered in a new electronic criminal that has endless scam possibilities at the users’ fingertips. This week’s safety tip will review this new imminent criminal.

Scientists have been programming computers to think and predict for decades, but only in recent years has technology gotten so sophisticated that a computer can actually mimic human voices, movement and writing style.

Even more concerning is that they can even predict what a person might say or do next. The public release in the past two years of tools such as OpenAI’s Chatgpt and DALL-E, Google’s Gemini (formerly Bardi), Microsoft’s Copilot and other readily available generative AI programs brought some of these capabilities to the forefront for the masses.

AI has the potential to be very useful, but it can easily be weaponized by criminals to create realistic, yet bogus voices, websites, videos and other content to perpetrate fraud. Many fear the worst is yet to come. They believe we are entering an ‘Industrial revolution for fraud criminals.”

A few examples of how criminals have already used AI’s endless capabilities are:
• Celebrity Scams – A “deepfake” (that is, a computer-generated fake version of a person) video circulating showing chef Gordon Ramsey apparently endorsing HexClad cookware. He wasn’t. Later, a similar deepfake featured Taylor Swift advertising Le Creuset. The likenesses of Oprah Winfrey, Kelly Clarkson and other celebrities have been replicated via AI to sell weight loss supplements.

  • Fake Romance – A Chicago man lost almost $60,000 in a cryptocurrency investment pitched to him by a romance scammer who communicated through what authorities believe was a deepfake video.• Sextortion – The FBI warns that criminals take photos and videos from children’s and adults’ social media feeds and create explicit deepfakes with their images to extort money or sexual favors.

So, is AI a friend or foe? In the fight against AI, it may become the friend in the battle to fight against AI. When used properly it is extremely beneficial, but ultimately you must Keep an Eye on Safety for yourself and your loved ones.