Artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to play an important role on Valentine's Day, according to a report released by security software firm McAfee. The firm conducted a survey which revealed that 56 percent of surveyed Indian respondents are motivated to use generative AI tools to write a love letter or other forms of content for their partner or potential love interest. A whopping 81 percent of Indians also said that they experienced a better response rate while using AI-generated content instead of self-written content.
The findings are part of McAfee's 2nd edition of the annual survey titled Modern Love, which focused on the rise of powerful AI) tools that are complicating the online dating landscape. The study surveyed 7,000 people across seven countries to collect the data. The biggest highlight to come out of the study was that 56 percent of Indians were already planning to leverage tools such as OpenAI's ChatGPT, Google Gemini, and Microsoft Copilot to help them profess their love to their dates and partners. Further, 65 percent of Indians also claimed to have used AI tools in the past to help create pics or other content for a dating app.
At the same time, the report also highlighted the perils of the growing trend. One key study finding was that 77 percent of Indians said they had come across AI-generated profiles or photos on dating websites, apps, or social media. Concerningly, 39 percent of Indians also reported that a conversation with a potential love interest online turned out to be with a scammer. Another 26 percent said they discovered that the potential love interest they were speaking to turned out to be an AI-powered bot instead of a real human.
“The possibilities of AI are endless, and unfortunately, so are the perils. For people who are shy about starting conversations, short on time to craft the perfect message, or whose photos could be brightened, AI offers tools to help enjoy all the fun and excitement that comes with online dating.,” said Steve Grobman, McAfee's Chief Technology Officer.
Generative AI tools based on large language models (LLM) are capable of writing texts that appear to be written by a human. Most such tools allow users to add prompts to control and customise the writing style, flow, structure, tonality, and more. Further, ChatGPT Plus, Copilot Pro and other high-end AI assistants let users create chatbots that could be trained on just their written material and bear a much higher resemblance to them while writing responses.
The McAfee study highlights that this close resemblance with humans' writing style can be maliciously used by cybercriminals to pull off romance scams. Romance scams are planned crimes where scammers prey on vulnerable people through false promises of love and relationships. And there is a reason for concern. An overwhelming 91 percent of Indians revealed they, or someone they know, have been contacted by a stranger via social media platforms or text messages and started to converse regularly to know them better. The firm also urged people to remain more vigilant during this period and never to entertain the request of a stranger (or even someone they know) asking to send money or any sensitive information online.
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