GenAI: Welcome to the era of misinformation and smarter scams

90% of internet content to be AI-generated in a few years
GenAI: Welcome to the era of misinformation and smarter scams
GenAI- Photo by Mojahid Mottakin on Unsplash

GenAI is being put to illicit use creating novels sold on Amazon, or generating fake political ads. And now, spam and scams are out of control thanks to AI’s ability to target us more easily.

Spam is unsolicited commercial emails aimed at nudging us toward buying something, clicking on links, installing malware, or changing our views.

One email blast can make $1,000 in a matter of a few hours. Advances in AI now mean spammers could replace traditional hit-or-miss approaches with more targeted and persuasive messages. And all this is possible thanks to AI’s easy access to social media posts.

A recent report from Europol expects 90% of internet content to be AI-generated in a few years. We are now entering an era of global misinformation that’s fooling everyone.

Misinformation era with GenAI

GenAI is making it a nightmare to be online flooding the internet with spam and misinformation and generating a huge amount of websites filled with fake text targeted at search engines. Sponsors then add programmatic advertising slots to generate revenue, according to a report by NewsGuard.

AI-generated content with practically zero human input allows forming this combination of mostly automatic advertising systems and websites

NewsGuard searched for telltale signs that AI was involved looking for error messages that these systems churn in return for queries. For example, AI may answer: “Sorry, as an AI language model, I am not able to blah bla blah…”

Read: Smarter banking is on the way with GenAI

The investigation found over 350 “fake news” sites using AI text, one of which was publishing over 1,200 new daily articles. Sites such as Biz Breaking News and Market News Reports published articles spanning a range of subjects, including politics, tech, economics, and travel. Many of these articles were rife with unverified claims, conspiracy theories, and hoaxes.

Over a quarter of these sites had 141 major brands paying for ads over manufactured content.

Undermining original content

Dependable sites like Stack Overflow, the internet’s go-to website for technical questions and answers, are now in decline because of AI-generated content. The company behind the site, Prosus, chose to allow AI-generated answers and began charging AI firms for access to its data.

A network of bots is posting large volumes of ChatGPT-generated content to social media sites like X and Facebook. These bots will soon perfect their mimicking of humans and this evade AI detection systems.

There are arguments that Microsoft and Google will eventually bury traditional search-result links in favor of summaries stitched together by bots that mixes facts with fiction in very credible ways.

Rogue actors are arming AI and scanning e=commerce sites like Amazon to scan pre-published books for their titles.

They then use that knowledge to publish books that carry the same title ahead of the original publishing date.

genai scam

GenAI developers have eyes set on scams  

AI is helping scammers tailor their baits to each target based on individuals’ preferences and behavioral tendencies. It gleans this from public websites and social media profiles.

Gone are the telltale signs of high-risk phishing scams where typos are all over the text. Instances, where graphics need additional refining, will no longer exist.

Scammers can use an AI-powered fraud network to display your profile picture in a brand’s personalized email campaign. It can produce a fake video message from a celebrity with an artificially reworked voice. It can discuss topics you deeply care about. Scammers can send them error-free,  and spam filters cannot catch them.

GenAI scams: Hidden codes

With AI models actively able to crawl the web, hackers are using that ability to hide malicious codes inside websites. These codes could fool users into thinking they are dealing with a Microsoft employee. It could prompt you with a new offer to use Microsoft Office for free, and ask for your credit card details.

The exponential growth of AI-generated spam could lead to overwhelmed email inboxes and website comment sections. In addition to bad UX, trust in content will diminish and so will accompanying ideas and opportunities that real sites offer.

This writer is not an AI-gen bot.

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