By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS - EU police force Europol on Monday warned about the potential misuse of artificial intelligence-powered chatbot ChatGPT in phishing attempts, disinformation and cybercrime, adding to the chorus of concerns ranging from legal to ethical issues.
Since its release last year, Microsoft-backed OpenAI's ChatGPT has set off a tech craze, prompting rivals to launch similar products and companies to integrate it or similar technologies into their apps and products.
"As the capabilities of LLMs (large language models) such as ChatGPT are actively being improved, the potential exploitation of these types of AI systems by criminals provide a grim outlook," Europol said as it presented its first tech report starting with the chatbot.
It singled out the harmful use of ChatGPT in three areas of crime.
"ChatGPT's ability to draft highly realistic text makes it a useful tool for phishing purposes," Europol said.
With its ability to reproduce language patterns to impersonate the style of speech of specific individuals or groups, the chatbot could be used by criminals to target victims, the EU enforcement agency said.
It said ChatGPT's ability to churn out authentic sounding text at speed and scale also also makes it an ideal tool for propaganda and disinformation.
"It allows users to generate and spread messages reflecting a specific narrative with relatively little effort."
Criminals with little technical knowledge could turn to ChatGPT to produce malicious code, Europol said.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Angus MacSwan)