As we move further into 2023, Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to shape how we work, consume entertainment, and interact with technology. From video upscaling and ChatGPT-generated writing to integration across various productivity tools, AI is quickly becoming an indispensable tool. However, it's important to be aware of the potential misuse of AI by malicious actors. In this newsletter, we'll explore what AI is, how it is being used, and how to protect yourself from scams involving AI.
You may have heard the terms "artificial intelligence" and "machine learning" without fully understanding what they mean. AI has been a part of various technologies for decades, powering daily tasks like search engines, voice assistants, and Netflix recommendations.
Machine learning is a subfield of AI that uses data to inform decision-making processes, rather than relying on direct programming. By collecting vast amounts of data, AI applications can continuously refine and improve their decision-making abilities, leading to better outcomes and more advanced capabilities.
Advanced AI applications like DALL-E and ChatGPT gained mainstream attention, allowing users to generate images or text-based outputs from simple prompts. These technologies quickly became popular on social media and news outlets. Large companies are already integrating AI into their tools to improve user productivity. Microsoft, for example, has incorporated ChatGPT into its Bing search engine and plans to introduce AI into Microsoft 365 applications like Word for real-time AI editing.
Unfortunately, the accessibility and affordability of AI have also made it a powerful tool for scammers. Voice modulation software is now used to make phone scams sound more natural, sometimes even mimicking a familiar voice. A recent report in CBC detailed how scammers used AI to con eight people in Newfoundland out of over $200,000.
To protect yourself from AI-based scams, remember to stop, look, and think when you receive unexpected communications. Avoid answering calls from unknown numbers and listen for oddities like mispronounced words or awkward pauses. When in doubt, contact the person or organization through a known, verified number or address. Report suspicious activity and reach out to CSOLVE if you have any concerns.
AI is transforming the workplace in numerous ways, but staying vigilant is essential to avoid falling victim to malicious actors. Keep yourself informed and take precautions to ensure you can harness the power of AI safely and effectively.