FTC warns Congress that AI know-how like ChatGPT might ‘turbocharge’ fraud and scams

In a Congressional listening to on Tuesday centered on the Federal Commerce Fee’s work to guard American customers from fraud and different misleading practices, FTC Chair Lina Khan and fellow commissioners warned Home representatives of the potential for contemporary AI applied sciences, like ChatGPT, for use to “turbocharge” fraud. The warning was issued in response to an inquiry over how the Fee was working to guard Individuals from unfair practices associated to technological advances.

Khan replied by agreeing that AI introduced new dangers for the FTC to handle, regardless of the opposite benefits it could current.

“AI presents a complete set of alternatives, but additionally presents a complete set of dangers,” Khan advised the Home representatives. “And I feel we’ve already seen methods through which it might be used to turbocharge fraud and scams. We’ve been placing market contributors on discover that cases through which AI instruments are successfully being designed to deceive individuals can place them on the hook for FTC motion,” she acknowledged.

Khan moreover warned that AI’s capability to turbocharge fraud ought to be thought of a “critical concern.”

To assist fight the issue, the FTC Chair famous its technologists have been being embedded throughout the company’s work, each on the buyer safety facet and the competitors facet, to make sure that any points with AI could be correctly recognized and dealt with.

In a follow-up, FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter downplayed Khan’s remarks by explaining the FTC had tailored to new applied sciences over time and has the experience to adapt once more to fight AI-powered fraud.

“There’s lots of noise round AI proper now and it’s necessary as a result of it’s in revolutionary know-how in some methods,” Slaughter mentioned. “However our obligation is to do what we’ve at all times achieved — which is apply the instruments we now have to those altering applied sciences, make it possible for we now have the experience to do this successfully, however to not be scared off by the concept that this can be a new revolutionary know-how, and dig proper in on defending individuals,” she mentioned.

The Fee testimony, delivered by Khan, Slaughter, and Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya, was introduced earlier than the Home Vitality and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Knowledge, and Commerce, and addressed a variety of matters past AI.

Amongst those who intersected with know-how, the company representatives detailed of their written testimony the FTC’s work to cut back the scourage of spam telephone calls; its warning to on-line residence purchaser Opendoor relating to its misleading claims about potential gross sales costs; the misleading claims made by members of the crypto neighborhood; its work to guard customers’ non-public well being knowledge collected by web sites and apps; its dealing with of the COPPA (kids’s privateness legislation) violations made by Fortnite maker Epic Video games; its orders to on-line studying platform Chegg over its failure to guard private knowledge; its combatting of junk charges and the shortcoming for customers to simply cancel subscriptions; misleading practices within the gig economic system; and extra.

The company additionally famous that it launched a brand new Workplace of Know-how (OT) in February with the aim of supporting the company’s legislation enforcement and coverage work by providing in-house technical experience, which might assist it to maintain tempo with technological adjustments. The FTC’s testimony particularly referred to the OT’s focus in areas like safety and privateness, digital markets, augmented and digital actuality, the gig work economic system, and advert monitoring applied sciences, along with “automated decision-making,” or what might embrace AI.

“The creation of the Workplace of Know-how builds on the FTC’s efforts over time to increase its in-house technological experience, and it brings the company consistent with different main antitrust and client safety enforcers around the globe,” the FTC mentioned.

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