AI-generated spam may soon flood your inbox with scams

Each day, messages from Nigerian princes, peddlers of wonder drugs, and promoters of can’t-miss investments choke email inboxes. Improvements to spam filters only seem to inspire new techniques to break through the protections. Now, the arms race between spam blockers and spam senders is about to escalate with the emergence of a new weapon: generative artificial intelligence. With recent advances in AI made famous by ChatGPT, spammers could have new tools to evade filters, grab people’s attention and convince them to click, buy or give up personal information. As director of the Advancing Human and Machine Reasoning lab at the University of South Florida, I research the intersection of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and human reasoning. I have studied how AI can learn people’s individual preferences, beliefs, and personality quirks. This can be used to understand better how to interact with people, help them learn, or provide helpful suggestions. But this also means you should brace for smarter spam that knows your weak spots – and can use them against you. Spam, spam, spam Image: Unsplash So, what is spam? Spam is defined as unsolicited commercial emails sent by an unknown entity. The term is sometimes extended to text messages, direct messages on social media, and fake reviews on products. Spammers want to nudge you toward action: buying something, clicking on phishing links, installing malware, or changing views. Spam is profitable. One email blast can make $1,000 in only a few hours, costing spammers only a few dollars – excluding initial setup. An online pharmaceutical…AI-generated spam may soon flood your inbox with scams

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