Alex Merton-McCann, McAfee’s Cyber Safety expert warned we should be on alert when it comes to receiving love letters. Why? Because nowadays they may be written by a computer rather than from the heart….ouch!
McAfee’s Modern Love Report is a timely reminder for Romeos and Juliets on how to ensure we use technology to enhance rather than detract from our romantic lives.
The report found that 72% of Aussie adults couldn’t tell whether a love letter was written by new conversational AI chatbot, ChatGPT, or their true love.
The report is also a reminder about how ChatGPT could also be used by romance scammers to create romantic conversation with the aim of scamming vulnerable individuals who are on the hunt for love on online dating platforms.
“Chat GPT uses generative artificial intelligence which gives its content a conversational tone,” warns Alex Merton-McCann, McAfee’s Cyber Safety expert. “This can make it hard to distinguish between machine generated content and human generated content. It also has the ability to ‘remember’ or log context from a user’s previous interactions and use it to create a response later in the conversation. This means what it produces can have a human like feel and also potentially reflect the tone or language used by the person generating the content”.
Women Love Tech asked Alex what are the signs to watch and how we can protect ourselves. Here is what Alex had to say:
There are few things to consider before deciding whether a love letter is fake.
AI can often use short sentences and reuse the same words. If your partner has certain favourite adjectives or ‘turns of phrases’ that are not used in the romantic correspondence but instead your letter is full of generic phrases, be alert.
ChatGPT also has a knack for creating a lot of content than can be non-specific and not actually say much at all. AI is programmed to not form opinions so the generated content can often sound substance-less. If the love letter is non-specific, doesn’t contain facts or refer to experiences or shared knowledge, then be alert.
Trust your gut! If you feel that the letter doesn’t reflect your partner or the connection you have, then it might be worth digging a little deeper!
How can we protect ourselves from being a victim of fake love lettres and romance scams?
Don’t let the threat of romance scams deter you from looking for love online. Being a part of a loving relationship is truly one of life’s greatest experiences.
Being cautious and remaining vigilant will ensure you have a safe and positive experience. Here are my top tips:
- If the conversation you are having with a potential new online love interest feels ‘off’, a little sickly or insincere, trust your gut. It may be machine generated – you can always use a ChatGPT detection tool to see. Chat GPT have their own and Stanford has also just made one available which they’ve called DetectGPT. But it may also just be the wrong fit for you – move on!
- Never send money or gifts to someone you haven’t met in person – even if you are completely enamoured. Romance scammers are often savvy operators who know how to make connections and hook in people who are pining for someone special. Often scammers will try to engender trust by sending you money first – don’t interpret this as a sign of legitimacy.
- Always talk to someone you trust about your new love interest. Don’t be insulted but we’re all familiar with the expression ‘love is blind’. It can be very easy to miss some tell tale signs when you’re feeling loved up and you have dopamine rushing through your system!
- Always try a reverse-image search of any pictures they share. If you find they are associated with another name or their details don’t match up, it’s like a romance scammer.
- Take Things Slowly. Ask a lot of questions and be on the look out for inconsistencies on their answers. Have a healthy suspicion until they prove that they can be trusted – which likely entails a lot of conversation, a deep dive into any mutual friends and several, well planned in person dates.”