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Is it time to say goodbye to unregulated AI?

Reading the news headlines doesn’t paint a positive picture when it comes to AI.

Whether it’s our jobs, lives or cybersecurity, sensationalist stories and pundit predictions are awash with fears that artificial intelligence is set to destroy present-day society, becoming an unwieldy online “Wild West” for brands and consumers to navigate .

While fortunately the most extreme predictions appear farfetched for now, in amongst the hard-hitting headlines, an important question is being raised: Is it time for the AI-revolution to be regulated?

The AI-Revolution

While most consumers have only been aware of artificial intelligence in some form relatively recently, it’s actually a concept and technology that dates back several decades.

In fact, although scientists have been studying and researching various forms of AI since the mid-20th century, it’s only over the past few years that the race has truly started to reach and impact the wider public.

Over the last decade alone, the world has seen rapid advancements in automated technology, allowing it to infiltrate almost every industry and home.

Indeed, although consumers may not know this, many have relied on AI for some time, including chatbots like Alexa and Siri, which learn and rely on human interaction to improve. What’s more, from Google Maps to hospital diagnostics, the application and use of artificial intelligence is expanding all the time – meaning it’s here to stay.

Despite these advancements, as AI grows in popularity with households and businesses, it has also become an increasingly attractive target for online criminals. Fraudulently exploiting consumers, the potential for online threats is unprecedented both in scale and threat. So what are they?

The dangers of ChatGPT tools

Of all the highest profile AI tools to hit the market, one of the most recent and best known is ChatGPT. Capturing the world’s imagination since launching, ChatGPT is a generative automated tool that has the internet at its fingertips, enthralled and appalled in equal measure. Ask it to “paint” like Van Gogh – it will. Ask it to help code software and that’s what it will do. The possibilities are endless.

Used judiciously, ChatGPT is a useful and intuitive tool which can aid creators and produce instant content. Used improperly however – and it can become an infringer’s dream. Here are just a few ways in which AI, left unchecked, poses a potential nightmare:

Scenario One

Take official documents. In this case, criminals can ask ChatGPT to recreate formal communications in the style of a well-known bank or enterprise, complete with exact font, imagery, and tone – lulling recipients into clicking onto malicious links or revealing confidential information. The result? Potentially letter-perfect financial scams churned out in industrial quantities that can dupe many consumers. Far superior to the clichéd ‘Nigerian Prince’ scams of the past, AI generated schemes are highly accurate and believable – to even the most sceptical of internet users.

Scenario Two

Another key concern with ChatGPT is its ability to replicate websites and profiles at a stroke, creating a mirror image of a genuine company’s online presence. For users visiting the fake version, from a supposed discount outlet to a company’s ‘official’ website, the chance of unwittingly carrying out transactions and giving away confidential financial information is similarly huge. What’s more, if shut down AI allows infringers to instantly restart the process – threatening brands worldwide.

Scenario Three

While individuals typically use ChatGPT innocuously, from asking silly prompts to helping facilitate repetitive tasks, the threat of intellectual property theft is all too real. While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, AI tools have been widely documented as infringing copyright content and creators in huge numbers. From artists to brand innovators, this scale of abuse left unchecked threatens to destroy fragile industries, undermine creativity and mislead consumers.

Scenario Four

And finally, a scenario that may already be familiar. From students fabricating essays to journalists seeking a quick headline-grabber, the potential of ChatGPT and its equivalents to disseminate unverified information is dangerous to us all – particularly if left unchecked. While obvious cases have so far been named and shamed, left unregulated artificial intelligence threatens to undermine our ability to distinguish fact from fiction.

These are just a few examples of the risks that can arise when AI is placed in the wrong hands, and unfortunately as more advancements occur, things will get worse. Today, many organisations are working on their own artificial intelligence projects behind closed doors. Some of these are for the greater good, but others are only being built with malicious intent.

With this in mind, is it time for AI’s free rein to be over? Given the threat of leaving things to chance, and as our experience has shown, we believe this might just be necessary.

How can SnapDragon help?

At SnapDragon, we’re not policymakers. We don’t legislate and we’re not a law firm, so we don’t claim to have the answer. That said, with our experience fighting fakes, we do know that unscrupulous criminals are latching onto automation already – and businesses must do more to protect their customers.

With artificial intelligence frequently used to build spoof websites, ape sellers and trick consumers into handing over their confidential information, brands cannot ignore the threat of online infringement – particularly fake domains.

This is an area SnapDragon is an expert in. Using our innovative technology, Swoop, we can help find even the most sophisticated of spoofed domains and then have them removed before consumers are misdirected to them by criminals.

This not only helps defend a brand’s reputation and revenue, but it also adds invaluable protection to internet users.

What’s more, from online marketplaces to social media, where AI-led criminals go, so do we. Monitoring and enforcing worldwide, we work tirelessly to remove your brand threat – wherever or whatever it might be.

Whether regulation is the only answer, is not for us to say. But, one thing SnapDragon is confident about is our ability to help protect organisations and their customers against AI-driven threats.

Act now before it’s too late. To get in touch, contact us now.


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