Folks using artificial intelligence for online shopping & chat bots

Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 9:03 PM CST

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - You’ve probably heard a lot about artificial intelligence, or AI, and different ways people are using it.

If you’re shopping online, AI might even be monitoring what you’re doing.

I learned that AI is used for a couple of things when it comes to you and your online shopping habits. some companies use it to understand your behavior while others are using it to detect credit card fraud.

AI takes online data to infer what your preferences are and what you might buy next.

You won’t be surprised to hear that data is then used to tailor advertisements to you.

AI can also help protect you from fraud though.

Financial companies can use AI to detect suspicious activity that doesn’t match with your current online activity.

While there are benefits to using AI, there are also privacy concerns.

Hari Narayanan, professor of computer science and software engineering said, “AI would be able to predict whether you had a particular disease or perhaps a condition like pregnancy.”

“Now the question for the consumer is do you want the company to know about that. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t,” Narayanan said.

A helpful tip if you are worried about fraud or identify theft: make sure you are using an encrypted site that uses https in the URL and avoid clicking on coupon links in your email, instead go to the website and access the coupon from your account.

Some of you might have heard of CHAT GPT and how it’s being used by students - not always in good ways either.

Students are using these chat bots to write their essays for school, but the experts we spoke to say there are some potential educational benefits to tools like this too.

Gerry Dozier, professor of AI and cyber security said, “If a student gets access to an essay writing system, then that makes it hard for them to learn what their teachers are trying to instruct them to do.”

Which according to the experts is resulting in a number of folks using authorship, attribution, or bot detection systems.

“Where they are going to be always trying to detect whether this text is coming from a bot or a human,” Dozier said.

But it may not all be bad - one expert saying it can be used as a teachable moment.

Narayanan said, “While having such technology is good, it’s still important for you as a learner to have those skills as well.”

Both experts said it’s impossible to completely ban these systems, technology is going to advance no matter what, so we have to learn to live with those advances even though it might be a challenge.

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