Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has warned that artificial intelligence (AI) could make scams and misinformation harder to spot.

Mr Wozniak fears the technology will be harnessed by "bad actors".

Speaking to the BBC, he said AI content should be clearly labelled, and that regulation was needed for the sector.

The computing pioneer signed a letter in March alongside Elon Musk calling for a pause in the development of the most powerful AI models.

Mr Wozniak, better known in the tech world as Woz, is a Silicon Valley veteran who -founded Apple with Steve Jobs and invented the first Apple computer.

He told the BBC about both the benefits of AI, and his concerns.

Open to bad players

Mr Wozniak said: "AI is so intelligent it's open to the bad players, the ones that want to trick you about who they are."

The term AI covers computer systems able to do tasks that would normally need human intelligence. This includes chatbots which are able to understand questions and respond with human-like answers, and systems capable of recognising objects in pictures.

Mr Wozniak doesn't believe AI will replace people because it lacks emotion, but he did warn that, in his view, it will make bad actors even more convincing, because programmes like ChatGPT can create text which "sounds so intelligent".

He thinks responsibility for anything generated by AI and then posted to the public, should rest with those who publish it:

Mr Wozniak added: "A human really has to take the responsibility for what is generated by AI."

He wants regulation to hold to account the big tech firms which "feel they can kind of get away with anything" .

Note of scepticism

But he sounded a note of scepticism that regulators would get it right: "I think the forces that drive for money usually win out, which is sort of sad."

Mr Wozniak was a pioneer of computing and says missed opportunities at the birth of the internet have lessons for today's architects of AI.

He believes "we can't stop the technology", but we can prepare people so they are better educated to spot fraud and malicious attempts to take personal information.

The current boss of Apple, Tim Cook, told investors last week that it was important to be "deliberate and thoughtful" in how to approach AI: "We view AI as huge, and we'll continue weaving it in our products on a very thoughtful basis."

More like this…

View all