AI might break your heart

A word of warning to any lonely hearts out there this Valentine’s Day: Be careful, your prospective new boo might have a cold, metal heart. 

Driving the news: Technology has come a long way since the phrase catfish entered the cultural lexicon over a decade ago, and now cybersecurity and fraud experts are warning that new and advanced AI tech might have the potential to revolutionize romance scams

AI powered by large-language models (like viral chatbot ChatGPT) could be trained using mass amounts of romantic messages exchanged between real partners, creating a bot that could spit game better than the most seasoned Tinder Casanova. 

  • Meanwhile, deepfakes, image generators, and voice simulators could create believable fictional love interests looking to scam you out of your (very real) money.

AI could also help automate the scamming process. "If you can have AI do it to a million people a day [you can] just sit and watch the money roll in,” one computer science professor told the Canadian Press, “And that is something that is possible with this technology.” 

Why it matters: Over 90,000 frauds with losses totalling $530 million were reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre last year—a 38% increase from 2021. After investment scams, romance scams are responsible for the second-highest amount of money lost.

What’s next: Apps realize this is a serious problem. Tinder recently rolled out new safety features while its parent company Match Group launched a campaign offering users in-app tips on how to spot and avoid scams. For now, the best way to spot an AI Tinder swindler might be by looking at their photos to see if they have they have too many fingers.