Oh, cool. AI is expected to bring about a spam renaissance

Advances in AI also mean advances in scamming, bringing about a new set of tools for gaining and exploiting subjects’ attention.

It can be exciting to know that people in every profession are looking at AI and imagining ways it can revolutionize the way they work — until you remember spamming is also a profession.

Oh, cool. AI is expected to bring about a spam renaissance

Think today’s junk-ducking obstacle course (say, repeatedly silencing “Unknown Caller” and hitting “Report Junk” on a half-dozen fake UPS delivery texts every day) is a headache? Keep some ibuprofen handy — you’re not gonna love the AI-powered future of spam.

Enabled by generative AI, spammers will be better equipped to get their messages in front of people — also meaning their nefarious counterpart, scammers, will be better equipped to squeeze susceptible populations, warns computer science expert John Licato in The Conversation.

More tools, more fools

This How-To Geek article on teaching ChatGPT how to write in one’s personal writing style feels different through the lens of the classic “trick people into thinking their boss is emailing them” scam.

And that’s just the start of the tricksters’ paradise ahead, per The Conversation:

  • Current spam filters will need to be remade; while AI can sharpen new anti-spam tools, it can also be used to evade them.
  • AI will help cyberpests better target individuals — able to more easily tap into subjects’ personal data (ahem, social media), spammers’ and scammers’ persuasion skills will magnify.

Convincing voice and image generation add yet another extortion tool for criminals, as proven by this AI-enabled kidnapping scheme every mom in the world breathlessly shared on Facebook this month.

Pouring gasoline on a nuclear explosion

Cybersecurity firms are on the case and OpenAI is agreeable on setting guardrails, but trying to stay ahead of (increasingly emboldened) bad actors would be an expensive game of Whac-A-Mole.

Training models to register spam, expanding ID-verifying programs, and educating users are all resource-intensive work.

And they’re up against a tough opponent: cybercrime is a booming, if mega-illegal, industry. If it continues to grow at its current 15% YoY rate, the global annual toll will hit $10.5T by 2025.

Just goes to show: Teach a man to phish, you’ll unfortunately feed him for a lifetime.

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Topics: Ai Cybersecurity

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