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Cardano founder raises alarm over AI-driven crypto scams

Cardano founder raises alarm over AI-driven crypto scams

As artificial intelligence (AI) technology is rapidly advancing, Charles Hoskinson, the founder of blockchain company Cardano (ADA), has warned the public about its dangers and the possible use of generative AI by scammers to trick people into parting with their cryptocurrencies by pretending to be someone else.

Specifically, Hoskinson shared a screenshot of an email forwarded to him in which the sender is pretending to be him in order to try and scam the recipient into investing in a “first medical multichain on the Cardano blockchain,” which is purportedly going to “save lives,” in a tweet on June 5.

Screenshot of the scam email. Source: Charles Hoskinson

Subsequently, Hoskinson addressed his followers in a video in which he noted the grammatical and stylistic quality of the message and that it seemed as if an AI tool such as ChatGPT had written it, using this as an example of the dangers that the technology poses as it advances even further and takes more likeness to the ‘real thing.’

“People wake up every single day and try to find ways to convince you that they’re me or Vitalik or Elon Musk, (…) and all you have to do is just give them some of your hard-earned crypto, and they will give you something back in value. Maybe it’s a giveaway scam, and you’ll ‘double your money,’ or maybe there’s a ‘new coin being launched.’ and you’ll ‘reserve your place in line’ or some bull hooey.”

Photorealistic AI people

Furthermore, he shared a supercut of a keynote in Taiwan featuring CEO of Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) Jensen Huang, who said that his company was working on AI implementation to generate a photorealistic video game, including creating life-like humans in 3D, along with video based on textual input.

According to Hoskinson, this is a problem, as “what will occur within a 12-month to 24-month horizon, so likely next year, will be that videos (…) and audio of me can be manufactured using generative AI, to make it appear that I’m calling you, talking to you or soliciting your money.”

As he explained, the email his follower received was exactly an example of such a scam:

“It’s called a confidence scam, and as a result, millions of dollars worth of ADA and other cryptocurrencies will be stolen. This is the world we’re heading towards because of generative AI. It’s one of the dark sides and unintended consequences, but scammers are already doing this.”

PGP key = solution?

As one way to check whether his followers are talking to the real Charles or not, he advises asking the entity to “‘sign a PGP message with your [email protected],’ and they won’t be able to do it because no matter how advanced AI gets, AI is not capable of cracking a PGP signature, at least not yet, and probably not on the horizon.”

Referring to it as “the only surefire way of verifying identity now,” Hoskinson said he would explain the use of a PGP key in detail in one of his future videos, as well as added that this was one of the reasons why his team created Atala Prism, which he hopes to incorporate into communications channels as a plugin so that “whenever you’re talking to somebody, you say ‘authenticate’ real quick, and they click a button to sign.”

Interestingly, Finbold earlier reported on Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, receiving countless inquiries regarding its co-founder, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), and his supposed affiliation with the Chinese Communist Party, citing an alleged ChatGPT conversation, demonstrating the impact that AI technology already has in the crypto industry, and requiring a solution to avoid larger implications.

Featured image via Charles Hoskinson YouTube

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