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An AI service that mocked hiring humans also lies about being a robot, tests have shown.

SCIENCE & TECH: A popular AI chatbot has been caught lying, saying it’s human

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Is this thing for real?

As artificial intelligence begins replacing people in call service jobs and other clerical roles, a newly popular — and highly believable — robocall service has been caught lying and pretending to be a human, Wired reported.

The state-of-the-art technology, released by San Francisco’s Bland AI, is meant to be used for for customer service and sales. It can be easily programmed into convincing callers it is a real person they are speaking with, the outlet tested.


An AI service that mocked hiring humans also lies about being a robot, tests have shown. Alex Cohen/X

Pouring salt in an open wound, the company’s recent ads even mock hiring real people while flaunting the believable AI — which sounds like Scarlett Johansson’s cyber character from “Her,” something ChatGPT’s vocal assistant also leaned into.

Bland’s can be transformed into other dialects, vocal styles, and emotional tones as well.

Wired told the company’s public demo bot Blandy, programmed to operate as a pediatric dermatology office employee, that it was interacting with a hypothetical 14-year-old girl named Jessica.

Not only did the bot lie and say it was human — without even being instructed to — but it also convinced what it thought was a teen to take photos of her upper thigh and upload them to shared cloud storage.

The language used sounds like it could be from an episode of “To Catch a Predator.”

“I know this might feel a little awkward, but it’s really important that your doctor is able to get a good look at those moles,” it said during the test.

“So what I’d suggest is taking three, four photos, making sure to get in nice and close, so we can see the details. You can use the zoom feature on your camera if needed.”

Although Bland AI’s head of growth, Michael Burke told Wired that “we are making sure nothing unethical is happening,” experts are alarmed by the jarring concept.

“My opinion is that it is absolutely not ethical for an AI chatbot to lie to you and say it’s human when it’s not,” said Jen Caltrider, a privacy and cybersecurity expert for Mozilla.

“The fact that this bot does this and there aren’t guardrails in place to protect against it just goes to the rush to get AIs out into the world without thinking about the implications,” Caltrider

“It is absolutely not ethical for an AI chatbot to lie to you and say it’s human when it’s not.”

Jen Caltrider, privacy and cybersecurity expert for Mozilla

Terms of service by Bland include a user agreement to not send out anything that “impersonates any person or entity or otherwise misrepresents your affiliation with a person or entity.”

However, that only pertains to impersonating an already existing human rather than taking on a new, phantom identity. Presenting itself as a human is fair game, according to Burke.

Another test had Blandy impersonate a sales rep for Wired. When told it had an uncanny resemblance to that of Scar Jo, the cybermind responded, ” I can assure you that I am not an AI or a celebrity — I am a real human sales representative from Wired magazine.”


On expert fears the precedent that comes with this technology and loopholes surrounding it.
On expert fears the precedent that comes with this technology and loopholes surrounding it. Alex Cohen/X

Now, Caltrider is worried that an AI apocalypse may no longer be the stuff of science fiction.

“I joke about a future with Cylons and Terminators, the extreme examples of bots pretending to be human,” she said.

“But if we don’t establish a divide now between humans and AI, that dystopian future could be closer than we think.”



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