People are increasingly concerned about the potential consequences of artificial intelligence (AI). As a result, tech titans such as Elon Musk and Apple’s co-creator Steve Wozniak have publicly called on OpenAI, the producer of ChatGPT conversational chatbot, to pause its growth for six months so that it can be thoroughly evaluated and monitored by independent specialists.
Their worries about AI’s influence on humanity in the future are valid – it could be something out of a Terminator movie without Arnold Schwarzenegger to rescue us. However, that is the distant future. At this very moment, AI is utilized, which is already beginning to cause major repercussions and even bankrupt nations and people.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was so alarmed by a potential Artificial Intelligence scam that they felt compelled to alert the public, as reported by NPR. This fraudulent activity has been described as similar to something out of a science fiction tale.
Last year, scammers employed deepfake AI technology to deceive people and steal $11 million. False voices impersonating relatives, medical professionals, and lawyers were used to solicit money from victims’ family members and acquaintances.
The FTC says:
“All [the scammer] needs is a short audio clip of your family member’s voice – which he could get from content posted online – and a voice-cloning program,”
“When the scammer calls you, he’ll sound just like your loved one.”
This new kind of fraud is not only affecting individuals but businesses of all sizes are also being targeted.
A bank manager in Hong Kong was tricked into transferring an astonishing $35 million after receiving deep-faked calls from a supposed bank director. The deception was so convincing that the money disappeared without a trace.
An equivalent episode happened at a British energy business where an ignorant worker moved around $250,000 to crooks after being tricked by deepfakes into accepting that the beneficiary was the CEO of the firm’s parent. The FBI is cautioning organizations that hoodlums use deepfakes to frame “workers” online for remote jobs to pick up admittance to corporate data.
In recent years, deepfake video technology has become increasingly prevalent, primarily with public figures such as Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Cruise, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump in the spotlight. It is anticipated that this election season will be inundated with incredibly realistic counterfeit videos designed to sway people’s voting decisions.
I am particularly concerned about the effect on the numerous unaware small business proprietors I have connections with. Numerous of us have been featured in videos available to the public, for example, on YouTube, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Even those not featured in videos can be victims of having their voices taken without permission. Fraudsters copy outgoing voicemail messages and make fake calls to lure a person into the conversation to capture their voice.
If this attack is employed successfully, it could easily result in substantial and immediate harm. So, what are the solutions? Establish safeguards and enforce them strictly.
Any financial manager in your business should make no financial transactions, such as transferring cash unless a call back is done to verify the request’s source—this applies even if the caller is the company’s CEO.
No transaction over a stipulated sum must be sanctioned unless several executives at the company have given their written consent beforehand. There should also be a formal document – such as a signed request or contract – to back up and validate the transaction.
Accountants at smaller businesses often face management overrides despite it being easier to implement internal controls in an organization with more structure. In these cases, the phrase “I don’t care what the rules are, this is my business, so transfer the cash now, dammit!” aptly sums up their dilemma.
If you are a business proprietor reading this, setting up regulations and adhering to them would be wise. Even though AI technologies such as ChatGPT may present some dire future perils for humankind, those are still in the future. By contrast, deepfake technology that replicates executives and parodies people employed by you has already arrived and will only become more familiar with time.
Source: the Guardian