13 Jul Understanding the Increasing Threat of AI-Enabled Disinformation
The spread of misinformation has become increasingly prevalent in today’s digital world. As Artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more mainstream, so too does the threat of algorithms to create, share, and amplify false information to manipulate public opinion and mislead people into believing false statements. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the various ways AI is being used to propagate misinformation on a larger scale and the consequences thereof.
1. What is AI and how does it work?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an emerging technology with limitless potential. It is driven by a computer’s ability to reason, learn, and make decisions in complex situations. With AI, machines are programmed to assess instructions or data across large sets of parameters and use what they find to make decisions about which course of action to take. AI shows enormous promise when it comes to eliminating human error and eliminating bottlenecks from decision-making teams.
2. Examples of AI-Generated Misinformation
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to generate fake news and other forms of misinformation. This is done through convincing deepfakes and audio or video manipulation, natural language processing to generate realistic news stories that have not been verified and could contain false facts, and AI chatbots that propagate certain political agendas on social media by generating tweets that seem like they were written by real people.
3. Potential Consequences of Using AI for Disinformation
Although the manipulation of information may appear to offer a seemingly easy route to reach more people, it can have serious consequences on both personal and larger scales. People using AI-enabled disinformation can face legal repercussions while large-scale social images can be damaged if false or misleading information is widely spread. Additionally, those most vulnerable in society who are less informed may not realise they are being fed untruths. It’s therefore essential that individuals and organisations using AI properly consider the lawfulness of their actions and take steps to ensure their content is not only legal but ethical as well.
4. Virtual Assistants and their Role in Spreading False Information
Virtual assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri, have become commonplace in today’s digital age. With many turning to these devices for answers to our everyday queries. Unfortunately, voice-recognition systems of certain virtual assistant devices have been found to spread dubious medical advice and even fake news headlines. To prevent this from occurring we must take steps to ensure that the sources used by these AI assistance systems are reliable and trustworthy.
5. Strategies to Detect and Counter AI-Generated Misinformation
AI-generated misinformation can be extremely difficult to detect and counter without the necessary tools in place. However, there are a few strategies employed by organisations to combat this phenomenon. These include deploying fact-checking mechanisms to verify source materials; developing and leveraging automated machine learning algorithms; and generating counterarguments that can be generated through natural language processing (NLP) techniques. With these strategies, organisations can work towards better detecting and responding to AI-generated misinformation more quickly than ever before.
6. Combatting Misinformation
Companies need to be proactive to avoid becoming victims of AI-driven misinformation campaigns. This starts with educating employees about the dangers of such campaigns and incentivising them to be mindful of the sources they share company information with. Furthermore, companies should strengthen their cybersecurity investments, regularly review those investments, and use tools that alert them to unusual activity on their systems. Lastly, companies need to create policy that limits their exposure online. As an example, they can limit the number of online accounts for company representatives and limit what business information is shared in public forums. Taking these steps will help companies protect themselves from AI-driven misinformation campaigns.
In conclusion, AI-generated misinformation presents a daunting challenge for individuals, companies, and society. Companies must practice caution to avoid the potential consequences associated with using AI for disinformation and take proactive steps like verifying sources of information when developing any AI applications. Virtual assistants can be used to generate false information, so companies need to ensure they have proper safeguards in place and regularly monitor virtual assistant interactions. Additionally, individuals can recommend strategies such as being aware of persuasive language or disinformation strategies that are commonly used in data-driven manipulated messages and search deep into the source of an article before they share it with others. With diligence and awareness around these issues, organisations will be better positioned to prevent falling victim to AI-driven misinformation campaigns.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan Stella | Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Megan Stella is an accountant and IT professional with over 20 years of experience working in the insurance industry. She has extensive knowledge of IT and how to use it to improve business efficiency.