AI in everyday life
AI has been a hot topic since the 1950s, and today, most of us encounter AI on a daily basis – sometimes without even realising it. For example, when we unlock our phones with facial recognition, interact on social media, listen to music on Spotify or use voice assistants. There are even AI-enhanced speed cameras on our roads.
As technology becomes more advanced and integrated into our lives, AI has received more than its fair share of media attention. And with it have surfaced an increased number of security concerns. But are they justified and how safe is AI in the workplace?
AI and business security
AI has always been intended as a tool to support our day-to-day activities, using human-like intelligence, decision-making and reasoning.
That’s why AI systems are based on a set of deep learning algorithms that store personal data to create more streamlined and tailored experiences. This process has been one of the primary reasons for security concerns surrounding AI.
Of course, data security is not a new issue for businesses. In fact, it’s a major concern for every organisation that collects and stores customer data for marketing or customer service purposes. However, what makes AI applications an especially appealing target for hackers is not only the wealth of information it collects, but the fact that they often operate online, or ‘in the cloud’.
That’s why businesses without sufficient cyber security measures are at more risk of being breached. Once they’ve found a weak spot, many hackers target sensitive business or customer data stored within the systems. If successful, a cyber security attack could not only result in a PR nightmare, but even prove fatal for your business relations.
Not even big brand names are safe. In May 2021, a cyber attack on the world’s largest meat processing company JBS Foods, forced a temporary closure of 47 facilities around Australia. The shutdown impacted the business operations and thousands of Australian workers were sent home.
Around the same time, real estate website Domain was targeted by hackers who accessed personal information of customers. The scammers asked for payment in the form of a deposit to secure a rental property.
Reputable AI developers are generally mindful of these risks and aim to always improve their technology to detect and protect systems against current and future breaches. In fact, it’s not unusual for developers to use AI to identify potential threats in real-time. This allows them to take action before any damage is done.