May 28, 2023

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, affectionately known as “The Woz,” says that artificial intelligence could make it harder to spot scams. Wozniak says that content created by AI should clearly be labeled as such and that regulation is needed or else bad actors will take control of the technology. Wozniak was talking to the BBC about this issue two months after he and other tech leaders, including Elon Musk, signed an open letter asking for a slowdown in the development of powerful AI models.
Speaking to BBC Technology Editor Zoe Kleinman, Wozniak said, “AI is so intelligent it’s open to the bad players, the ones that want to trick you about who they are.” While The Woz thinks that the lack of emotion will prevent AI from replacing humans in the workforce, he fears that it will make bad actors seem more convincing when they are trying to scam the public. That’s because conversational AI chatbots like ChatGPT can create text that sounds convincing to the layman.
As a result, Wozniak says that those who publish text written by AI have the responsibility to label it as AI-generated. “A human really has to take the responsibility for what is generated by AI,” Wozniak says. He wants regulation to hold big tech firms accountable. The Woz didn’t mention any particular firm but said that these are the tech companies that “feel they can kind of get away with anything.”

Not that Wozniak was specifically talking about the company he helped create, but Apple CEO Tim Cook said to investors during a conference call last week that when it comes to AI, Apple would be “”deliberate and thoughtful. Cook added that “We view AI as huge, and we’ll continue weaving it in our products on a very thoughtful basis.”

The Woz was not optimistic that regulators will be able to oversee the use of artificial intelligence. “I think the forces that drive for money usually win out, which is sort of sad,” he said. While he doesn’t believe that the development of AI can be stopped, he thinks that people can be educated to help them find situations where their personal data is at risk due to fraud.

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