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THE LATEST WAVE of artificial intelligence development has forced many of us to rethink key aspects of our lives. Digital artists, for example, now need to focus on protecting their work from image-generating sites, and teachers need to contend with some of their students potentially outsourcing essay writing to ChatGPT.
But the flood of AI also comes with important privacy risks everyone should understand—even if you don’t plan on ever finding out what this technology thinks you’d look like as a merperson.A lack of transparency
“We often know very little about who is using our personal information, how, and for what purposes,” says Jessica Brandt, policy director for the Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiative at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., that conducts research it uses to tackle a wide array of national and global problems.
In broad terms, machine learning—the process by which an AI system becomes more accurate—requires a lot of data. The more data a system has, the more accurate it becomes. Generative AI platforms like chatbots ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, plus image generator Dall-E get some of their training data through a technique called scraping: They sweep the internet to harvest useful public information.
But sometimes, due to human error or negligence, private data that was never supposed to be public, like delicate company documents, images, or even login lists, can make its way to the accessible part of the internet, where anyone can find them with the help of Google search operators. And once that information is scraped and added to an AI’s training dataset, there’s not a lot anyone can do to remove it.
“People should be able to freely share a photo without thinking that it is going to end up feeding a generative AI tool or, even worse—that their image may end up being used to create a deepfake,” says Ivana Bartoletti, global chief privacy officer at Indian tech company Wipro and a visiting cybersecurity and privacy executive fellow at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. “Scraping personal data across the internet undermines people’s control over their data.”
“AI makes it easy to extract valuable patterns from available data that can support future decision making, so it is very tempting for businesses to use personal data for machine learning when the data was not collected for that purpose,” she explains.
It doesn’t help that it’s extremely complicated for developers to selectively delete your personal information from a large training data set. Sure, it may be easy to eliminate specifics, like your date of birth or Social Security number (please don’t provide personal details to a generative AI platform). But performing a full deletion request compliant with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, for example, is a whole other beast, and perhaps the most complex challenge to solve, Bartoletti says.
[Related: How to stop school devices from sharing your family’s data]
Selective content deletion is difficult even in traditional IT systems, thanks to their convoluted microservice structures, where each part works as an independent unit. But Koerner says it’s even harder, if not currently impossible, in the context of AI.
That’s because it’s not just a matter of hitting “ctrl + F” and deleting every piece of data with someone’s name on it—removing one person’s data would require the costly procedure of retraining the whole model from scratch, she explains.It’ll be harder and harder to opt out
A well-nourished AI system can provide incredible amounts of analysis, including pattern recognition that helps its users understand people’s behavior. But this is not due only to the tech’s abilities—it’s also because people tend to behave in predictable ways. This particular facet of human nature allows AI systems to work just fine without knowing a lot about you specifically. Because what’s the point in knowing you when knowing people like you will suffice?
“We’re at the point where it just takes minimal information—just three to five pieces of relevant data about a person, which is pretty easy to pick up—and they’re immediately sucked into the predictive system,” says Brenda Leong, a partner at chúng tôi a Washington, D.C., law firm that focuses on AI audits and risk. In short: It’s harder, maybe impossible, to stay outside the system these days.
This leaves us with little freedom, as even people who’ve gone out of their way for years to protect their privacy will have AI models make decisions and recommendations for them. That could make them feel like all their effort was for nothing.
“Even if it’s done in a helpful way for me, like offering me loans that are the right level for my income, or opportunities I’d genuinely be interested in, it’s doing that to me without me really being able to control that in any way,” Leong continues.
Using big data to pigeonhole entire groups of people also leaves no place for nuance—for outliers and exceptions—which we all know life is full of. The devil’s in the details, but it’s also in applying generalized conclusions to special circumstances where things can go very wrong.The weaponization of data
Another crucial challenge is how to instill fairness in algorithmic decision making—especially when an AI model’s conclusions might be based on faulty, outdated, or incomplete data. It’s well known at this point that AI systems can perpetuate the biases of their human creators, sometimes with terrible consequences for an entire community.
As more and more companies rely on algorithms to help them fill positions or determine a driver’s risk profile, it becomes more likely that our own data will be used against our own interests. You may one day be harmed by the automated decisions, recommendations, or predictions these systems make, with very little recourse available.
[Related: Autonomous weapons could make grave errors in war]
It’s also a problem when these predictions or labels become facts in the eyes of an algorithm that can’t distinguish between true and false. To modern AI, it’s all data, whether it’s personal, public, factual, or totally made up.More integration means less security
Just as your internet presence is as strong as your weakest password, the integration of large AI tools with other platforms provides attackers with more latches to pry on when trying to access private data. Don’t be surprised if some of them are not up to standards, securitywise.
And that’s not even considering all the companies and government agencies harvesting your data without your knowledge. Think about the surveillance cameras around your neighborhood, facial recognition software tracking you around a concert venue, kids running around your local park with GoPros, and even people trying to go viral on TikTok.
The more people and platforms handle your data, the more likely it is that something will go wrong. More room for error means a higher chance that your information spills all over the internet, where it could easily be scraped into an AI model’s training dataset. And as mentioned above, that’s terribly difficult to undo.What you can do
The bad news is that there’s not a lot you can do about any of it right now—not about the possible security threats stemming from AI training datasets containing your information, nor about the predictive systems that may be keeping you from landing your dream job. Our best bet, at the moment, is to demand regulation.
The European Union is already moving ahead by passing the first draft of the AI Act, which will regulate how companies and governments can use this technology based on acceptable levels of risk. US president Joe Biden, meanwhile, has used executive orders to award funding for the development of ethical and equitable AI technology, but Congress has passed no law that protects the privacy of US citizens when it comes to AI platforms. The Senate has been holding hearings to learn about the technology, but it hasn’t come close to putting together a federal bill.
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You are more than a data point. The Opt Out is here to help you take your privacy back.
ALGORITHMS are what they eat. These intricate pieces of code need nourishment to thrive and do accurate work, and when they don’t get enough bytes of good-quality data, they struggle and fail.
I encountered a malnourished algorithm when I looked at my 2023 Spotify Wrapped and saw my favorite artist was Peppa Pig. I frowned, befuddled. Why did Spotify think the cartoon piglet was my latest obsession? Then I remembered I’d spent a week with my 2-year-old niece over the summer, and how playing Peppa Pig songs on my phone was the only way to keep her entertained.
Well, that made more sense.
But I soon realized that the little porker had mucked up even more than my year in review: My recommendation algorithm was a mess as well. For weeks, at least one out of the four Daily Mix playlists the platform put together for me included compilations of music for kids.A camouflage suit made out of bad data
Feeding the algorithms in your life bad data is called data poisoning or obfuscation, and it’s a technique that aims to obscure your true identity by generating a large quantity of inaccurate information. The concept refers to synchronized attacks that deliberately seek to erase or alter the datasets fueling a platform’s algorithms to make them underperform and fail. This requires specific skills and know-how, as well as a lot of computing power.Where data poisoning can fail
If this all sounds too simple, you’re right—there are some caveats. Using fake information when you sign up for something might be pointless if the platform builds and refines your profile by aggregating numerous data points. For example, if you say you’re in California but consume local news from Wisconsin, list your workplace in Milwaukee, and tag a photo of yourself on the shore of Lake Michigan, the platform’s baseline assumption that you live in the Golden State won’t matter much. The same thing will happen if you say you were born in 1920, but you like content and hashtags typically associated with Generation Z. Let’s face it—it’s totally plausible for an 82-year-old to be a huge Blackpink fan, but it’s not terribly likely. And then there’s the risk that a service or site will require you to provide real identification if you ever get locked out or hacked.
Playing content that doesn’t interest you while you sleep may throw off the recommendation algorithms on whatever platform you’re using, but doing so will also require resources you may not have at your disposal. You’ll need a device consuming electricity for hours on end, and an uncapped internet connection fast enough to stream whatever comes through the tubes. Messing with the algorithms also messes up your user experience. If you depend on Netflix to tell you what you watch next or Instagram to keep you updated on emerging fashion trends, you’re not likely to enjoy what shows up if the platform doesn’t actually know what you’re interested in. It could even ruin the entire app for you—just think what would happen if you started swiping left and rejecting all the people you actually liked on a dating app.Does any of this matter?
Maybe you need to read this to believe it, but we don’t need to comply with everything online platforms ask of us. Data poisoning is neither dishonest nor unethical. It’s us users reclaiming our information in any way we can. As Jon Callas, a computer security expert with the Electronic Frontier Foundation told me, we have no moral obligation to answer questions tech companies have no right to ask. They’re already accumulating thousands of data points on each and every one of us—why help them?
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether data poisoning is highly or barely effective. We know it does something. And at a time when companies don’t have our best interests at heart and regulation is light years behind thanks to the billions of dollars tech companies spend lobbying elected officials, we the users are on our own. We might as well use every strategy we can to protect ourselves from constant surveillance.
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has actively taken the world by storm. More and more businesses are now planning to leverage AI to develop brand management strategies as a fundamental part of their vision and mission
Meanwhile, AI is slowly but steadily becoming more prevalent in customers’ day-to-day lives. It makes everyday tasks and small chores easier and is quickly becoming more readily available in lots of shapes and sizes to suit customers’ needs.
Google and Microsoft are among the popular global brands that have already regulated their business operations to focus on Artificial Intelligence research. Other industry leaders like IBM, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Alibaba are not far behind from this objective.
According to a market research firm IDC, global spending on AI systems is said to reach $57.6 billion in 2023.
While AI offers undeniable benefits such as cost savings for the business, the bigger goal for marketers is to enhance brand management by making it more predictive and personalized. So, specifically, how can AI help marketers to achieve this? Without any further ado, we’ll discuss various methods to improve brand management using AI.AI guards online reputation
We know that opinions spread like wildfire online. Word of mouth is powerful enough to enhance brand awareness or wreck it altogether. Managing online reputation in this tightly connected world can be quite challenging for organizations.
A recent report by Bright Local found that marketers are spending, on average, 17% of their workweek on online reputation management. That’s almost one full day of work per week.
Of course, social media monitoring is essential for business success, but that doesn’t mean it should dominate your work time. The use of AI tools simplifies this task.
Artificial intelligence, using natural language processing (NLP) models, means computers can understand and decipher what your audience is saying.
AI offers a better way to ease the time commitment of managing your reputation online by:
Automating the monitoring process.
Responding to and asking for reviews at the right time.
Enabling brand managers and product managers to research on a large-scale basis.
Monitoring social media, websites, and other online forums.
Download our Business Resource – Social media marketing strategy guide
Access the Social media marketing strategy guideAI connects you with the right audience
Before the introduction of AI, companies were broadly categorizing customers to make bulk decisions about customer experience. AI has entirely changed how companies monitor their CX.
AI records and analyzes every action made by a user, such as:
The items they browsed
The products they added to the cart and then removed
The items remaining in the cart
Consider the example of Premier Inn, the largest hotel chain in the UK. The company was able to reach out to the target audience who were looking for a place to stay by leveraging the signals of their search queries.
By connecting to the right users with the right message at the right time, they saw an increase in their hotel bookings by 40%!AI improves customer experience
Forming an emotional connection with a brand plays a crucial role in enhancing the customer experience. Apple is the perfect example of a company that leverages emotions to build an everlasting bond with its consumers. Instead of sending out press releases about a product launch, it creates events to nurture a sense of mystery and allows consumers to be a part of it.
Marketers can achieve this intense relationship by utilizing the power of AI. These tools collect and analyze tons of data, giving access to accurate information to drive marketing strategies, and contributing directly to improved customer experience.
According to Forbes, the future of customer experience is artificial intelligence. In fact, it is projected that 95% of customer interactions will be managed by AI technology by 2025.
Companies are also focusing on using AI to deliver personalized recommendations. This is another crucial factor necessary to achieve a better customer experience. For example, we have already seen chatbots helping brands in this area by offering a personalized experience.
Intelligent chatbots deliver a comprehensive communication solution when it comes to answering FAQs, providing sales suggestions, or guiding a customer where to go next. With this approach, one need not have to call in or wait on hold for a customer representative. The automated live chat will answer all the common inquiries.AI secures customer data
Digitization has brought tremendous benefits to organizations, but it has also made them more exposed to cyber threats. Over the years, we have seen online attacks dramatically increasing.
In the wake of these outbreaks, eight out of ten online customers in the U.S are becoming increasingly concerned about data security and privacy as per 2023 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey. This clearly indicates that most online users feel like they’ve lost control over how their information is being collected and used online.
The data protection laws such as GDPR and CCPA are introduced to secure the customer’s personal data and instill their trust in the favorite brands. These laws come with a massive penalty for the companies that are involved in leaking sensitive customer data.
According to the European Data Protection Board, supervisory authorities in the 31 countries reported 206,326 cases of GDPR infringement from May 25, 2023, to mid-March 2023.
With more number of companies embracing the Cloud and digital technologies, it’s now more critical than ever to protect the crucial data. Fortunately, business leaders and experts believe that artificial intelligence (AI) can improve data security to a certain extent.
AI-driven security tools can do this either by themselves using automation and detection or by offering security teams and Security Operation Centers (SOCs) with enhanced capabilities.Examples of AI-powered data security solutions include:
User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) – This tool learns specific patterns of legitimate access usage and uses it to determine sophisticated attacks like insider threats.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) – This security tool helps the security team deal with various events across the entire organizational environment. With the information delivered by SIEM, one can quickly deal with data security threats in real-time.
Security, Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) – This cybersecurity solution alerts on threats. It can detect risks and deal with some of them automatically.
Apart from this, some firms utilize AI systems like facial, voice, and sound recognition to register customer’s biometrics, which can then be used to securely access facilities in the future.Bottom line
The above-specified ways help companies in enhancing brand management using AI tools. Through these techniques, companies can earn higher revenue in terms of increased sales and conversions. Enhanced brand management is crucial to surviving in the competitive business environment, so brand managers should seek funds to invest in AI at the earliest and reap the benefit.
Today, the world thrives on the diverse potentials of artificial intelligence (AI). While adopting AI is imperative for the modern world to grow, AI at times can have criminal intents and inflict harm. One of the classic examples of criminal AI can be of A Space Odyssey. It is an omnipresent computer that concealed evil intents under a calm demeanor. This injects in us a sense of intimidation for AI, thereby, giving rise to prejudice that AI will soon be uncontrollable and will harm the planet. This narrative appeal is not grounded in reality. Such a notion is not only untrue but also irrational. While it’s true that AI can be a contributor to data invasion and breach of privacy, AI can also be a provider of privacy. In real life, AI is a defense against all possible threatening.Erosion of Privacy of Information
The age of information has put privacy at stake. Data strewn on the internet is easily and readily available to external audiences without the need for passwords. This lack of security has eroded the safety and security of information and has imparted a stimulus to cybercriminals. Here is exactly where they need for AI is felt. In order to create an impenetrable shield to information and data, AI can be the most appropriate bulwark, preventing cyber breaches. A pertinent example of such an AI technology is face recognition technology. Face recognition has resulted in strong security regulations and fewer data breaches for several business companies. AI performs other sensitive tasks also such as navigating and locating a criminal suspect.The Onus is on Humans
AI is an assistive technology, which means that it is not supposed to participate in decision-making. Acknowledging the fact that AI is a tool, the onus is on humans to put it to proper use. Humans need AI to sift necessary information while eliminating redundant ones. AI algorithms can be trained and governed to function according to an ethical set of rules such as important data filtration.
Today, the world thrives on the diverse potentials of artificial intelligence (AI). While adopting AI is imperative for the modern world to grow, AI at times can have criminal intents and inflict harm. One of the classic examples of criminal AI can be of A Space Odyssey. It is an omnipresent computer that concealed evil intents under a calm demeanor. This injects in us a sense of intimidation for AI, thereby, giving rise to prejudice that AI will soon be uncontrollable and will harm the planet. This narrative appeal is not grounded in reality. Such a notion is not only untrue but also irrational. While it’s true that AI can be a contributor to data invasion and breach of privacy, AI can also be a provider of privacy. In real life, AI is a defense against all possible chúng tôi age of information has put privacy at stake. Data strewn on the internet is easily and readily available to external audiences without the need for passwords. This lack of security has eroded the safety and security of information and has imparted a stimulus to cybercriminals. Here is exactly where they need for AI is felt. In order to create an impenetrable shield to information and data, AI can be the most appropriate bulwark, preventing cyber breaches. A pertinent example of such an AI technology is face recognition technology. Face recognition has resulted in strong security regulations and fewer data breaches for several business companies. AI performs other sensitive tasks also such as navigating and locating a criminal chúng tôi is an assistive technology, which means that it is not supposed to participate in decision-making. Acknowledging the fact that AI is a tool, the onus is on humans to put it to proper use. Humans need AI to sift necessary information while eliminating redundant ones. AI algorithms can be trained and governed to function according to an ethical set of rules such as important data filtration. Besides, AI-powered algorithms are also used in eliminating human errors caused by fatigue and biasedness. This is a vantage point by the virtue of which the security standards can be maintained.
A lot of people believe that email marketing is dead in the age of social media. Others argue that social media is highly overrated and that we should rely on email marketing instead. The response to both these groups always is ‘why can’t we just use them both?’ For seriously, together they can be far more effective than they can be separate – a real case of the combination being better than its parts.Email Marketing and Social Media
Okay. That sounds pretty good, right? So how do you do that?How to Leverage Social Media?
It’s the word ‘social’ that’s the most important word here. People don’t go to social media in order to buy new products. Instead, they go on there to interact with their friends and to demonstrate to others how interesting and cool they are.
For that reason, social media is best used as a fun, entertaining way that makes your brand and your company seem creative and worth following. Just as importantly, you’ll want to make sure your message is much shorter as very few people are going to sit around and devour long-form messages on social media. It’s all about digestibility.
Get Them to Subscribe
One of the things you’ll regularly want to share with your social media followers is the fact that you have a newsletter. Even better, offer them products and goods that are interesting to them – like white papers as well as guides for them to learn or do something that is associated with your brand. All you’ll want them to give you in return is their email address.
The reason this works better than just asking them for their email address when they visit your site is that you’ve already won their trust to an extent. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be following you on social media in the first place. And so, when you ask their email address in return for a product that they’re interested in, you’ll see that you’ll have a much higher success rate than you otherwise would have. The one thing you do have to remember at all times is not to ask for too much information. The more information that you ask, the more likely that they’ll decide not to go through with it.What Can You Offer? Don’t Forget to Also Create Social Media Versions of Your Newsletter
No, it won’t be the most effective part of your strategy. Still, almost all email marketing programs now allow you to create social media versions of your email. So why not take the extra step and offer it to them? It’s a small step that might just draw a few more people into your actual email marketing campaign.
Again, it is always worth considering when you want to send out the email and when you want to send it out over social media. A good strategy that will often work well is to make clear that whatever promotions are on offer in your email marketing campaigns are only available to people who have subscribed to your campaign or which have a limited window of opportunity (which is close to expiring by the time you place your email on social media). These simple strategies will make it far more likely that people will subscribe to your email – which can then lock them in for sales further down the line.Final Words
On May 3rd, Vice President Kamala Harris and other top administration officials met with the CEOs of four American businesses at the forefront of AI innovation. The White House meeting’s objectives were to explore worries about the possible threats posed by AI. Additionally, they wanted to underline the need for businesses to ensure their products are secure and safe before they are used or released to the public.
President Biden was also among the attendees at the meeting. He stressed the significance of reducing AI’s hazards to people, society, and national security, both now and in the future. These hazards relate to human and civil rights, safety and security, privacy, employment, and democratic principles.
Also Read: White House Calls Tech Tycoons Meet to Address the AI ThreatThe Role of CEOs in Ensuring Responsible Behavior
The meeting between administration representatives and CEOs constructively and candidly discussed three important topics:
Transparency: Businesses must be more open about their AI systems with the public, lawmakers, and other stakeholders.
Evaluation: The significance of having the ability to assess, confirm, and validate the security, effectiveness, and safety of AI systems.
Security: It’s essential to protect AI systems from hackers and other assaults.Agreement on the Need for More Work
CEOs and representatives from the Administration concurred that creating necessary safeguards and guaranteeing protection requires more significant effort. The AI leaders pledged to keep communicating with the Administration to ensure AI innovation benefits the American people.Part of a Broader Effort to Engage on Critical AI Issues
The gathering was part of a larger, continuing initiative to engage on significant AI problems with activists, businesses, researchers, civil rights groups, not-for-profit organizations, communities, foreign partners, and others. The Administration has already made significant progress by promoting responsible innovation and risk reduction in AI.Five Principles to Guide the Design, Use, and Deployment of Automated Systems
The government has been given the go-ahead by the Biden administration to pursue racial justice, civil rights, and equal opportunity. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has outlined five principles to help in directing the design, usage, and deployment of automated systems to safeguard the American people. These guidelines uphold American ideals and offer direction for adopting safeguards into practice and policy.
Safe and Effective Systems: Automated systems should be both safe and effective. Additionally, they should consult with various communities, stakeholders, and subject-matter experts before building the systems. This would help pinpoint issues, dangers, and potential effects. Pre-deployment testing, risk identification, mitigation, and continuous monitoring should be done to show system safety, efficacy, and conformity to standards.
Protection Against Algorithmic Discrimination: Automated systems shouldn’t mistreat people for their protected traits; this would be illegal and unjustified. Automated system creators, developers, and implementers should take proactive steps to safeguard people and communities from such algorithmic prejudice. They must work together to guarantee fair usage and design of these systems.
Data Privacy: Creators, developers, and implementers of automated methods must ensure that such systems safeguard people’s data agency and privacy. They should also see to it that only relevant data is gathered and secure users’ explicit consent before collecting, using, accessing, transferring, and erasing their data.
Notice and Explanation: They should spread awareness among people about using automated systems and how it affects the results that influence them. Such systems’ designers, developers, and deployers should include clear, timely, and accessible plain language documentation that explains the system’s operation, the role of automation, notice of use, responsible parties, and explanations of results.
Human Alternative, Consideration, and Fallback: Based on realistic expectations in a specific situation, people should have the option to reject automated technologies and access a human alternative.The Importance of Responsible Innovation and Risk Mitigation in AI
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s principles offer a guide for creating, utilizing, and deploying automated systems that are secure, efficient, and fair. Thanks to the Biden administration, companies may help guarantee that their AI solutions serve people and society while preserving privacy, civil rights, and democratic ideals by adhering to these principles.
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