Most social media scams were predictable up until recently.
For many years robots have been a major problem on Twitter. Posing as actual account holders, they can even make people believe that the bots are real. These “bots” are more like automations; they don’t pose as real people.
Over the last 12 months, generative AI helped social media managers to create posts which appear as if they had been written by copywriters and not bots. Artificial intelligence is responsible for many videos and photos that are shared on social media. It’s almost become a bit routine.
New scams are likely to appear on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in the future. Some of these will fool even those who consider themselves tech-savvy.
AI has advanced faster than anybody could have predicted. While none of these scams are widely known yet, it’s wise to stay vigilant about potential abuses.
One example: It won’t be long before you’ll start seeing incredibly life-like and realistic “talking head” videos posted by an “influencer” who is actually an AI bot. I’ve seen experiments with this type of content already but not an actual scam yet where an AI was posing as a real person and not revealing the truth. At the moment, none of them look real. It won’t be long before they do.
The bots are a unique advantage to real people on social media. They never tire.
“Influencer bots” can create content all day long, posting on multiple accounts, liking and commenting constantly. Since there’s no real governance over this type of content and the AI bots could fool the gatekeepers quite easily, there won’t be a way to tell what is a real post from one that is AI-powered.
AI bots may be able to influence the way we think about certain products, services or political opinions. AI bots might spread false information and create market chaos and panic. There’s already plenty of human influencers who are spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories as it is.
Imagine a bot that is created by a company and spreads misinformation against a competitor. We won’t really know whether the account is legit or how to verify any of the claims with a real person.
It is in our nature to believe things we read online. And when the video looks incredibly realistic, we won’t know it is just a marketing ploy or a scam.
That’s just the beginning. Artificial intelligence bots may also begin chatting to us through these fake profiles, impersonating real people. You can also call us and have a real-sounding voice.
Of course, there are already scams on Facebook like this, but what’s likely going to happen beyond that involves fake accounts run by bots that look entirely real and fool us into thinking it’s a person not a bot. After the AI bots gain our trust, they may ask for personal information and even commit other frauds.
The scary part about all of this is that it might already be happening and we don’t even know it. AI-powered accounts on social media may already be running and interacting with users, pretending to look like a human.
It is important to know how you can prevent it from occurring.
I’m not seeing any great solutions yet. It’s an opportunity for security professionals to get involved and make suggestions. Watermarks? A digital artificial intelligence law? Today, it’s remarkably easy to create a social media account without any verification about who you are, where you live, or whether you are even a real person or not.
What’s more likely to happen? Social media is likely to be the first place where AI-powered frauds appear and do some serious damage. Then we’ll finally pay attention to the dangers and try to quickly enact some new laws.