The rise of AI has sparked discussions worldwide regarding its impact on businesses, societies, culture, and people. Prominent figures in the information technology field, such as Elon Musk (Founder of Tesla and owner of Twitter) and Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple), have publicly expressed support for a temporary pause in the development of OpenAI, a form of advanced AI, due to the significant risks it poses to human well-being.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT program, for instance, has prompted the development of similar large language models by competitors and the integration of generative AI models into various products.
While these advancements offer numerous applications and simulate human-like conversation, compose songs, and summarize documents, concerns have emerged about the potential negative consequences.
Tech experts in Nigeria have also raised concerns and called for discussions to address the implications of AI development, especially in developing countries like Nigeria. They believe that participating in these discussions will provide an opportunity for Nigeria to catch up with global trends and leverage technology as an enabler. However, they also acknowledge the potential threats AI poses to job displacement, the spread of misinformation and propaganda, and other societal challenges.
Scammer Uses AI to Defraud Businessman of $609,000 in China
In a recent incident reported by a government-associated media portal in Fuzhou, China, a scammer employed artificial intelligence (AI) to deceive a businessman and swindle him out of millions of yuan. The victim, identified as Mr. Guo, received a video call from someone who appeared and sounded like a close friend. However, the caller was actually a con artist who used smart AI technology to alter his face and voice, posing as Guo’s trusted acquaintance.
Under the guise of helping another friend, the fraudster convinced Guo to transfer 4.3 million yuan (approximately $609,000) from his company’s bank account. The scammer provided Guo with his personal bank account number and sent a fraudulent payment record screenshot, claiming that an equivalent amount had been wired to Guo’s account. Without verifying the transaction, Guo proceeded to make two payments from his company account.
It was only after contacting his friend, whose identity had been stolen, that Guo realized he had fallen victim to a scam. The incident highlights the increasing influence of AI in perpetrating fraudulent activities and the need for caution.
The Global Debate on AI
The transformative power of AI has made it a central topic of worldwide debate. Experts from various countries recently gathered at the GITEX Africa 2023 event in Morocco to discuss and advance issues related to AI.
While some industry leaders, including heads of OpenAI and Google DeepMind, have warned about potential catastrophic scenarios and even the extinction of humanity, others argue that concerns about AI are exaggerated.
Nonetheless, AI is undeniably poised to be the next major global technology shift. In Africa, particularly, it is believed that AI has the potential to revolutionize business operations and societal functions, with efforts underway to explore its applications in addressing pressing issues like poverty, unemployment, and inequality.
As AI continues to evolve, it is essential to strike a balance between leveraging its benefits and addressing the risks and challenges associated with its deployment.