By Stephanie Olson

Invasive technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become more and more normalized in society today with digital voice assistants like Siri, through social media to personalize your feed, through face recognition to open an iPhone, and more. AI has been used by dangerous people to scam and hack others for their own personal gain. Some of these scams include the use of AI to perfectly imitate another person’s voice in order to trick them into thinking their loved one has been kidnapped for ransom. Then the scammer tricks them into wiring however much money they tell them in order to not harm “the loved one.”

Could artificial intelligence be doing more harm than good for society? An article from NPR explains that “In 2019, scammers impersonating the boss of a UK-based energy firm CEO demanded $243,000. A bank manager in Hong Kong was fooled by someone using voice-cloning technology into making hefty transfers in early 2020” (Hernatndez, 2023). Scammers have been successful in stealing large amounts of money through AI. There is another form of artificial intelligence that people have been using for their own gain which is called deep fakes. There is a way to take somebody’s face and put it on anything or anyone they want in order to create fake videos of other people (even celebrities or politicians). This is dangerous because the scammers can take any face and voice and put it on anything they want for their own personal gain. They are able to manipulate the video into whatever they’d like it to be, for example making a celebrity do something outlandish in a video using AI in order to get that celebrity in trouble with the public. There was a song created by AI to imitate the rapper Drake in which people didn’t realize it was a song made up by AI. The song got so popular it made it to the Spotify streaming service until Drake and his team were eventually able to get it taken down.

It seems AI is doing more damage to society than it is any good. According to “Arts Management and Technology Laboratory” they mention that “There are currently 14 thousand Deepfake videos circulating online…Ninety-nine percent of the circulated videos are in the entertainment industry, mainly in the form of pornography.” Deep fakes are becoming a bigger issue for celebrities because their faces are being used for inappropriate activities. It is scary for individuals as well. Anyone can take our faces and turn us into victims as well.

With the rapid progression of technology, it is important for everyone to keep up with new scams and how to avoid them. When it comes to those scammers that are calling families to try and trick them with another family member’s voice to convince them to send money, come up with a safe word or password with your entire family as a way to verify it is actually them calling. Another way to avoid this is by going private on all social media so that most scammers won’t be able to program your voice to say the things they want.

Conversation Starters:

  1. Do you or someone you know have any negative experience with AI?
  2. What are some benefits of AI?
  3. How do you currently use or interact with artificial intelligence?
  4. Do you think you would ever be comfortable with AI teachers or doctors in the future? Why or why not?

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