We worry about face recognition just as we worried about databases – we worry what happens if they contain bad data and we worry what bad people might do with them.

It’s easy to point at China, but there are large grey areas where we don’t yet have a clear consensus of what ‘bad’ would actually mean, and how far we worry because this is different rather than just because it’s just new and unfamiliar.

Like much of machine learning, face recognition is quickly becoming a commodity tech that many people can and will use to build all sorts of things. ‘AI Ethics’ boards can go a certain way but can’t be a complete solution, and regulation (which will take many forms) will go further. But Chinese companies have their own ethics boards and are already exporting their products.

Source: Ben Evans

It’s already getting tough to discern real text from fakegenuine video from deepfake. Now, it appears that use of fake voice tech is on the rise too.
That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported the first ever case of AI-based voice fraud — aka vishing (short for “voice phishing”) — that cost a company $243,000.

In a sign that audio deepfakes are becoming eerily accurate, criminals sought the help of commercially available voice-generating AI software to impersonate the boss of a German parent company that owns a UK-based energy firm.
They then tricked the latter’s chief executive into urgently wiring said funds to a Hungarian supplier in an hour, with guarantees that the transfer would be reimbursed immediately.

The company CEO, hearing the familiar slight German accent and voice patterns of his boss, is said to have suspected nothing, the report said.
But not only was the money not reimbursed, the fraudsters posed as the German CEO to ask for another urgent money transfer. This time, however, the British CEO refused to make the payment.

As it turns out, the funds the CEO transferred to Hungary were eventually moved to Mexico and other locations. Authorities are yet to determine the culprits behind the cyber-crime operation.

The firm was insured by Euler Hermes Group, which covered the entire cost of the payment. The incident supposedly happened in March, and the names of the company and the parties involved were not disclosed, citing ongoing investigation.
AI-based impersonation attacks are just the beginning of what could be major headaches for businesses and organizations in the future.
In this case, the voice-generation software was able to successfully imitate the German CEO’s voice. But it’s unlikely to remain an isolated case of a crime perpetrated using AI.

On the contrary, they are only bound to increase in frequency if social engineering attacks of this nature prove to be successful.

As the tools to mimic voices become more realistic, so is the likelihood of criminals using them to their advantage. By feigning identities on the phone, it makes it easy for a threat actor to access information that’s otherwise private and exploit it for ulterior motives.

Back in July, Israel National Cyber Directorate issued warning of a “new type of cyber attack” that leverages AI technology to impersonate senior enterprise executives, including instructing employees to perform transactions such as money transfers and other malicious activity on the network.
The fact that an AI-related crime of this precise nature has already claimed its first victim in the wild should be a cause for concern, as it complicates matters for businesses that are ill-equipped to detect them.

Last year, Pindrop — a cyber-security firm that designs anti-fraud voice software — reported a 350 percent jump in voice fraud from 2013 through 2017, with 1 in 638 calls reported to be synthetically created.

To safeguard companies from the economic and reputational fallout, it’s crucial that “voice” instructions are verified via a follow-up email or other alternative means.

The rise of AI-based tools has its upsides and downsides. On one hand, it gives room for exploration and creativity. On the other hand, it also allows for crime, deception, and nearly (unfortunately) damn competent fraud.

Source: TNW

If the government doesn’t use it against you, scammer will do. Personally, I’m still waiting for the good use cases of artificial intelligence.

As you may have seen already I removed the link to my Facebook profile. Just in case you’re wondering. You may comment here or send me an email or try to find me on Facebook anyway if you like.

2011-02-16 @ 13:31: Lunchtime! General

Nom, nom chinese food makes you happy. That’s because of all the flavor enhancers used. :mrgreen:

I’m on Facebook for a while now and recently started to use Twitter. In addition I use ICQ, WLM, IRC, e-mail of course, Xing and various other boards and communities, have two cell phones (one with Windows Mobile 6.5 and one with Android 2.3) and my netbook nearly constantly right beside me wherever I go. To make a long story short I hate all this. I hate social networks. I hate instant messaging. I hate being 24/7 on-line and reachable.

Read more …

2011-01-18 @ 20:27: FancyBox General

Today I found a very nice script which replaces Lightbox, Graybox, Slimbox etc. It’s called FancyBox and different although doing quite the same like the rest. However, I like it because of its high customizability and ease of use. Transitions are smooth and beautiful even on lower-end machines, galleries can be scrolled through using your mouse-wheel and it even supports external content using an iframe in an overlay on top and separated from your own content.

Feel free to check it out here.

2010-12-27 @ 18:56: performance problems General

I noticed some ugly performance problems (stuttering background-animation, heavy cursor flickering, …) when displaying this site on machines with a high resolution (e.g. FullHD) and especially – even on lower resolutions like 1280×960 – when a Matrox graphics-adapter is installed. The reason for this may be the snow-script, which is quite hard on CPU. The animated background is just a GIF with five frames. However, my netbook (Intel Atom 1.6ghz and Intel GMA 950 graphics) has no issues with this site. Strange.

In case you neither got snow outside, nor up your nose, at least you have it on your screen now. Merry Christmas to all of you!


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