FTC warns Congress that AI expertise like ChatGPT may ‘turbocharge’ fraud and scams

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In a Congressional hearing 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 might current.

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

Khan moreover warned that AI’s skill to turbocharge fraud ought to be thought-about a “critical concern.”

To assist fight the issue, the FTC Chair famous its technologists had been being embedded throughout the company’s work, each on the buyer safety aspect and the competitors aspect, to make sure that any points with AI can 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 through the years and has the experience to adapt once more to fight AI-powered fraud.

“There’s a whole lot of noise round AI proper now and it’s vital as a result of it’s in revolutionary expertise in some methods,” Slaughter mentioned. “However our obligation is to do what we’ve all the time carried out — which is apply the instruments we’ve got to those altering applied sciences, ensure that we’ve got the experience to try this successfully, however to not be scared off by the concept this can be a new revolutionary expertise, and dig proper in on defending folks,” she mentioned.

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

Amongst those who intersected with expertise, the company representatives detailed of their written testimony the FTC’s work to scale back the scourage of spam telephone calls; its warning to on-line dwelling purchaser Opendoor concerning 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 (youngsters’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 financial system; and extra.

The company additionally noted that it launched a brand new Workplace of Know-how (OT) in February with the objective of supporting the company’s legislation enforcement and coverage work by providing in-house technical experience, which may 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 financial system, and advert monitoring applied sciences, along with “automated decision-making,” or what may embody AI.

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

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