Can You Trust AI? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

pixabay_balloon_chat_2000-1333
AI chatbots are becoming more powerful, but how do you know if they’re working in your best interest?

Bruce Schneier, Harvard Kennedy School and Nathan Sanders, Harvard University

If you ask Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant AI system, whether Amazon is a monopoly, it responds by saying it doesn’t know. It doesn’t take much to make it lambaste the other tech giants, but it’s silent about its own corporate parent’s misdeeds.

When Alexa responds in this way, it’s obvious that it is putting its developer’s interests ahead of yours. Usually, though, it’s not so obvious whom an AI system is serving. To avoid being exploited by these systems, people will need to learn to approach AI skeptically. That means deliberately constructing the input you give it and thinking critically about its output.

Newer generations of AI models, with their more sophisticated and less rote responses, are making it harder to tell who benefits when they speak. Internet companies’ manipulating what you see to serve their own interests is nothing new. Google’s search results and your Facebook feed are filled with paid entries. Facebook, TikTok and others manipulate your feeds to maximize the time you spend on the platform, which means more ad views, over your well-being.

What distinguishes AI systems from these other internet services is how interactive they are, and how these interactions will increasingly become like relationships. It doesn’t take much extrapolation from today’s technologies to envision AIs that will plan trips for you, negotiate on your behalf or act as therapists and life coaches.

They are likely to be with you 24/7, know you intimately, and be able to anticipate your needs. This kind of conversational interface to the vast network of services and resources on the web is within the capabilities of existing generative AIs like ChatGPT. They are on track to become personalized digital assistants.

Read More  How Chief Information Security Officers Can Help Organizations Unlock The Potential Of Generative AI

As a security expert and data scientist, we believe that people who come to rely on these AIs will have to trust them implicitly to navigate daily life. That means they will need to be sure the AIs aren’t secretly working for someone else. Across the internet, devices and services that seem to work for you already secretly work against you. Smart TVs spy on you. Phone apps collect and sell your data. Many apps and websites manipulate you through dark patterns, design elements that deliberately mislead, coerce or deceive website visitors. This is surveillance capitalism, and AI is shaping up to be part of it.

AI is playing a role in surveillance capitalism, which boils down to spying on you to make money off you.

In the dark

Quite possibly, it could be much worse with AI. For that AI digital assistant to be truly useful, it will have to really know you. Better than your phone knows you. Better than Google search knows you. Better, perhaps, than your close friends, intimate partners and therapist know you.

You have no reason to trust today’s leading generative AI tools. Leave aside the hallucinations, the made-up “facts” that GPT and other large language models produce. We expect those will be largely cleaned up as the technology improves over the next few years.

But you don’t know how the AIs are configured: how they’ve been trained, what information they’ve been given, and what instructions they’ve been commanded to follow. For example, researchers uncovered the secret rules that govern the Microsoft Bing chatbot’s behavior. They’re largely benign but can change at any time.

Read More  GraphCast: AI Model For Faster And More Accurate Global Weather Forecasting

Making money

Many of these AIs are created and trained at enormous expense by some of the largest tech monopolies. They’re being offered to people to use free of charge, or at very low cost. These companies will need to monetize them somehow. And, as with the rest of the internet, that somehow is likely to include surveillance and manipulation.

Imagine asking your chatbot to plan your next vacation. Did it choose a particular airline or hotel chain or restaurant because it was the best for you or because its maker got a kickback from the businesses? As with paid results in Google search, newsfeed ads on Facebook and paid placements on Amazon queries, these paid influences are likely to get more surreptitious over time.

If you’re asking your chatbot for political information, are the results skewed by the politics of the corporation that owns the chatbot? Or the candidate who paid it the most money? Or even the views of the demographic of the people whose data was used in training the model? Is your AI agent secretly a double agent? Right now, there is no way to know.

Trustworthy by law

We believe that people should expect more from the technology and that tech companies and AIs can become more trustworthy. The European Union’s proposed AI Act takes some important steps, requiring transparency about the data used to train AI models, mitigation for potential bias, disclosure of foreseeable risks and reporting on industry standard tests.

The European Union is pushing ahead with AI regulation.

Most existing AIs fail to comply with this emerging European mandate, and, despite recent prodding from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the U.S. is far behind on such regulation.

Read More  Meet The Data Champions: How Goodcall Is Bringing The Power Of AI To Main Street Businesses

The AIs of the future should be trustworthy. Unless and until the government delivers robust consumer protections for AI products, people will be on their own to guess at the potential risks and biases of AI, and to mitigate their worst effects on people’s experiences with them.

So when you get a travel recommendation or political information from an AI tool, approach it with the same skeptical eye you would a billboard ad or a campaign volunteer. For all its technological wizardry, the AI tool may be little more than the same.The Conversation

Bruce Schneier, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School and Nathan Sanders, Affiliate, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Source: cyberpogo.com


For enquiries, product placements, sponsorships, and collaborations, connect with us at [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you!

Read More

liwaiwai_Apple-WWDC24-Apple-Intelligence-hero-240610_c

Introducing Apple Intelligence, the personal intelligence system that puts powerful generative models at the core of iPhone, iPad, and Mac

10 June 2024PRESS RELEASE Introducing Apple Intelligence, the personal intelligence system that puts powerful gener
Read More
tvOS 18 introduces intelligent new features like InSight that level up cinematic experiences. Users can stream Palm Royale on the Apple TV app with a subscription.

Updates to the Home experience elevate entertainment and bring more convenience 

10 June 2024 PRESS RELEASE tvOS 18 introduces new cinematic experiences with InSight, Enhance Dialogue, and subtitles CU
Read More