Steve Wozniak is not a man of few words, at least not when it comes to the impact of AI on scam detection. Speaking to the BBC this week, Wozniak, better known in the Silicon Valley as Woz, was forthright about his views on the new wave of AI-powered tools that have gained so much lionization in recent months.

Woz has warned that AI could make scam detection harder to spot. He fears the technology will be harnessed by “bad actors”.

The Apple co-founder was also among 18,000 people who signed a letter in March alongside Elon Musk calling for a pause in the development of the most powerful AI models, arguing that they posed profound risks to humanity. Some signatories were later revealed to be fake, and other backed out on their support.

In his interview with BBC, Woz expressed his concerns about the impact of AI on scam detection, stating that “AI is so intelligent it’s open to the bad players, the ones that want to trick you about you they are.”

Steve Wozniak

AI, or artificial intelligence, refers to computer systems capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. Among these systems is GPT-4, developed by OpenAI, a company founded by Sam Altman and now backed by Microsoft. GPT-4 possesses the ability to engage in human-like conversations, compose songs, and condense lengthy documents into concise summaries.

According to Woz, AI’s inability to display emotions makes it unlikely to replace human beings, but he cautioned that AI can make fraudulent activities more convincing. He pointed out that AI tools like ChatGPT can generate text that may sound extremely intelligent, which could deceive individuals into thinking it was written by a human.

Woz argued that responsibility for programs generated by AI is in the hands of those who publish it: “A human really has to take the responsibility for what is generated by AI.”

Woz urged regulators to take responsibility of holding big tech firms accountable for their actions. He also expressed skepticism about the inability of regulators to effectively regulate these companies. Wozniak expressed his disappointment that the financial motivations behind these corporations tend to prevail, which he finds disheartening.

The Apple co-founder said that “we can’t stop the technology”, but added that we can educated the masses to detect AI scams and malicious attempts to steal one’s personal information.

The Apple chief executive, Tim Cook, expressed a measured approach towards AI during his address to investors last week. He said it was important to be “deliberate and thoughtful” in how to approach AI. “We view AI as huge, and we’ll continue weaving it in our products on a very thoughtful basis,” he said.

Geoffrey Hinton, whose research on neural networking helped lay the foundations for AI revolution, has also expressed his fears and dismay that the pace of improvements could be a real risk to humans. He told the Guardian, that there was a possibility that people could eventually be controlled or even wiped out by AI.

The advent of AI has opened doors to both innovation and deception. While the technological advancements brought by AI-powered tools reshape various industries, its potential to facilitate scams has become a growing concern. The impact of AI on scam detection is undeniable as it has the potential to make fraudulent activities more convincing. The future of AI scams is increasingly worrying, as these tools can generate text and images that is indistinguishable from that of a human. It won’t be an understatement to admit that AI and scams have become increasingly intertwined, making it challenging to detect and prevent such activities. It is imperative to take proactive steps to recognize how AI affects scam prevention and take the necessary measures to mitigate the risks.