Recently, a viral deepfake video featuring actor Rashmika Mandanna sparked a national debate about the extent of the dangers posed by artificial intelligence. Following that, a picture circulated on the internet showing Sara Tendulkar hugging the Indian cricketer Shubman Gill, but it was later confirmed to be fake. The original image featured Sara with her brother Arjun Tendulkar.
Union Minister of State for Information Rajeev Chandrasekhar recently stressed the importance of addressing deceptive content and emphasised the role of online platforms in managing it. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has issued an advisory for citizens, cautioning them about FraudGPT, an AI-powered chatbot that is being used by cyber-criminals to craft fraudulent content.
The advisory states, “FraudGPT can generate authentic-looking phishing emails, text messages, or websites that trick users into revealing sensitive information, such as login credentials, financial details, or personal data.
“It can create deceptive messages to trick users into clicking on malicious links / attachments leading to malware infections. It can imitate human conversation with users to share sensitive information or to perform harmful actions. It can help hackers create fraudulent documents, invoices, or payment requests for financial scams.”
The advisory suggested some safety tips that citizens can take to avoid falling prey to cyber-crime. “Avoid clicking on links / attachments from unknown sources. Always verify the authenticity of calls, emails or messages, especially those asking for sensitive information or financial transactions. Contact the organisation directly through their official channels to validate such requests. Regularly update security software, install patches, and use genuine antivirus programs to protect against potential threats,” it said.
The recently concluded AI Safety Summit 2023, hosted at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire near London on November 1 and 2, marked a significant global event. The summit’s central focus was to assess the risks associated with cutting-edge AI models and formulate strategies for policymakers and stakeholders to enhance AI safety for the public good. This event is just the beginning, as two more summits are scheduled for the following year in South Korea and France.
The main outcomes of the summit were the signing of a declaration by 28 countries to continue meeting and discussing AI, the launch of the AI Safety Institute, and a general agreement that more research is needed to make AI safe. The two-day summit brought together ministers and representatives from various countries, including the UK, US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, South Korea and India.
Chandrasekhar, who represented India at Bletchley Park, said at the opening plenary session that the weaponisation represented by social media must be overcome, and steps should be taken to ensure AI represents safety and trust.
“We have maintained that international collaborations such as these are extremely important, as we move forward in shaping the future of technology in an era where it is presenting some of the most exciting opportunities ever for mankind. The future of technology, whether it involves innovation, partnerships, or the institutional framework for regulating technology and innovation for the benefit of all mankind, should be driven by a coalition of nations rather than just one or two countries,” the minister said.
AI needs a regulatory framework
Advocate (Dr) Prashant Mali, cyber andprivacy expert lawyer, said, “AI needs a regulatory framework and we require it immediately. While the minister says don’t demonise AI, he should also talk about safety net and remedies if AI commits a crime or stampedes on citizens’ fundamental rights. We can right now bring in rules under the IT Act, 2000, and regulate the AI space. We can easily look to the AI Act of EU and make different rules for different risk levels of AI.”
At Bletchley, the US also announced a plan to create its own AI safety institute staffed by experts to monitor risks. It would work closely with a similar body created by the UK that has ambitions for a greater global role in researching risks related to AI.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk predicted that AI would eliminate the need for work, sharing this view during a conversation with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the AI summit. Musk said paid work would become redundant due to technological advancements. However, the discussion also delved into concerns about job replacement, with Sunak acknowledging people’s anxieties. Both Musk and Sunak agreed on the necessity for a “referee” to oversee future supercomputers.