It sounds like science fiction but it’s not: AI can financially destroy your business

ai realist
ai realist

Everyone seems to be worried about the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) these days. Even technology leaders including Elon Musk and the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak have signed a public petition urging OpenAI, the makers of the conversational chatbot ChatGPT, to suspend development for six months so it can be “rigorously audited and overseen by independent outside experts”.

Their concerns about the impact AI may have on humanity in the future are justified – we are talking some serious Terminator stuff, without a Schwarzenegger to save us. But that’s the future. Unfortunately, there’s AI that’s being used right now which is already starting to have a big impact – even financially destroy – businesses and individuals. So much so that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) felt the need to issue a warning about an AI scam which, according to this NPR report “sounds like a plot from a science fiction story”.

But this is not science fiction. Using deepfake AI technology, scammers last year stole approximately $11m from unsuspecting consumers by fabricating the voices of loved ones, doctors and attorneys requesting money from their relatives and friends.

“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,” the FTC says. “When the scammer calls you, he’ll sound just like your loved one.”

And these incidents aren’t limited to just consumers. Businesses of all sizes are quickly falling victim to this new type of fraud.