Experts discuss dangers of AI

A new artificial intelligence tool is taking the tech world by storm, but its remarkable ability to create comes with real challenges.
Updated: May. 2, 2023 at 5:30 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - A new artificial intelligence tool is taking the tech world by storm, but its remarkable ability to create comes with real challenges.

It can be used to write stories, type essays, and even create art.

“If AIs creating it, is it truly creative or is it just what’s popular,” asked Carl Heiden, president and CEO of Heiden Technology Solutions.

Artificial intelligence is a form of technology growing faster than most people can keep up. Among the technology is the latest software Chat GPT.

“It’s a learning algorithm. So it learns and adapts and processes information differently than things have in the past,” Heiden said.

AI is when a machine mimics human cognitive functions, like problem-solving, pattern recognition, and learning. But like any other machine or device, it does what it’s told.

“It’s derivative from humans, right? So, if a human teaches it to lie, then it’ll be able to lie. If a human has its own motivations for it to do certain things, then it’s going to act on those motivations,” Heiden said.

Recently, AI has been used in the latest phone scams. The technology can replicate your voice in a manner of seconds.

“Those are the concerns. The misinformation, the disinformation that it can feed,” Heiden said.

Due to this, the Federal Trade Commission is now sounding the alarm and warning of advancing artificial intelligence used to simulate someone’s voice in imposter scams, which was the most reported fraud in 2022.

Voice cloning isn’t a new concept, but it’s becoming more accessible thanks to AI. Heiden said there needs to be some sort of regulation.

“I have a chatbot on my phone, the Chat GPT on my phone, and I asked it, ‘Do you believe you should be regulated or not?’ And it came back and said, ‘Yes, I believe it should be regulated so the bad people can’t make me do bad things,’” Heiden said.

At 911 for generations, they have had to deal with the potential for prank calls, but now they say they’re facing a much more serious threat.

“Those types of scams are going to become more and more available and are going to become more and more prevalent,” said Chris Izworski, executive director at Saginaw 911.

Izworski said they anticipate they will start receiving calls about these scams, if not calls from scammers themselves.

“Just with a short snippet of audio to be able to create somebody’s voice and what they sound like, their inflection, and their tone, and then use that as a way to elicit money from someone saying hey, this person that they know and love and trust, maybe their grandson or granddaughter or whomever that individual is in trouble and they need help,” Izworski said.

TV5′s La’Nita Brooks put it to the test using one of the AI voice generators to replicate her voice.

“These are much more sophisticated with a lower cost, which will allow people to create a much higher chance of getting yourself caught in one of these scams,” Izworski said.

Scammers can grab clips of your voice from social media and even phone calls. So, what can you do to protect yourself? Experts say just because you hear it, doesn’t mean you should believe it.

“I would say probably the biggest thing is just verifying and locking down certain personal pieces of personal information that you can ask and verify,” Heiden said.

“Double check. Is this person actually who they say they are,” Izworski said.

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