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Viral ChatGPT shows first signs of risks when AI takes over and runs with it



A PC screen featuring the home page of viral AI app ChatGBT
ChatGPT: viral AI tool has taken the world by storm, but inaccuracies include confusion about its own subscription fees | Photo: Jonathan Kemper

Unless you have been living under the same rock as those claiming to have not seen the rather peculiar attire singer Sam Smith wore at the 2023 Brit Awards, last Saturday, chances are you have heard of ChatGPT. The chatbot, launched in 2020 with the promise of using artificial intelligence to generate human-like text based on user inputs, is already the trending topic of the year. From curious students to event planners and marketing professionals, everyone wants to try and see for themselves if the content written by an AI tool can live up to its hype. So much so that, according to a recent survey by OpenAI, the San Francisco-based research lab behind ChatGPT, the tool is now being used by over 10 million people globally, with new users joining the platform every day – an intake speed that led to the number of monthly active users increasing by over 200% in the past year alone.

“We currently use ChatGPT as a quick and handy assistant for tasks such as idea generation, solving mathematical equations, helping with Excel formulas, and many other day-to-day tasks that can be automated.”, says George Bates, SEO Manager at digital agency Limelight Digital.

“Whilst it’s important to use AI with caution, we embrace it as a tool to help us work more efficiently rather than simply dismissing it as ‘unethical’ or ‘lazy’. However, we don’t yet use AI for any content yet, which seems to be the most prevalent usage at the moment,” acknowledges the UK-based professional.

Podcaster Nate Runkel has also been exploring the AI tool and is happy with the results.

“I ran two tests that I was completely impressed by. One, I plugged in some information and had ChatGPT generate the script for my podcast intro. And then to see how it flowed, I read it in my voice to my fiancée who to this day does not believe that I did not
write it. The second test I ran was to generate a press release for the upcoming season of the same podcast. And again, I was completely mesmerized not only by how it was able to create usable content, but also how much I could finesse it to match my own writing style/voice,” says Runkel who even used the tool recently to pen a cover letter for a job application.

“I think it’s more accurate than you would expect something to be that is just pulling data points it has been fed but, that being said, it still has a long way to go. And anything I’ve used I have just used as the framework and then have had to make revisions to personalize and clean up any inaccuracies!”

At Tally Workplace, co-founder Laura Beales is another convert to the AI tool that’s changing the way people write and research.

“We use chatGPT frequently within our business and believe as a small startup it can help us get ahead of the competition that is slower to make use of the tool. It greatly reduces the time needed to create content about each of our workspaces and offices. Whilst we edit the descriptions and articles it produces, we estimate it reduces the time for us to create content by 80%,” explains the entrepreneur.

In the UK, London-based PR and branding agency This is Run currently uses ChatGPT to help brainstorm ideas.

“I also use it for writer’s block and content ideas; our last three blogs on our website have all been created using AI. It frees up time and ensures we have some SEO-worthy content flowing,” says Run’s co-founder, Samuel Dontoh.

Thousands of miles from the capital of England, in Canberra, Australia, co-founder and CEO of fitness and leisure brand Salti, Jo Flynn, has also started to use AI for her business.

“Our virtual assistant/copywriter was creating all our social and email content. However, she had to leave us to focus on her studies. I haven’t been able to replace her so started experimenting with ChatGPT and I’m happy with the outcome so far. I’m a trained comms and marketing professional (with nearly two decades of experience), but I simply don’t have time these days to write content. So, ChatGPT was a simple (and free) solution,” Admits Flynn.

“ChatGPT has written this blog post about The rise of sweat to swim activewear. I requested a certain style and tone of voice, and after a few rounds landed on the above. It came up with some pretty cool stuff each time I requested a change in tone or style. Then, I made some slight edits to make sure it was accurate and reflected our brand, and that was the end result,” celebrates the entrepreneur that utilised ChatGPT to stay one step ahead.

“Afterwards, I asked ChatGPT to write a series of Facebook ads and headlines and I’m now running ads to a cold audience, direct to this blog post. Each link click costing around $0.14.”

The viral effect that has put artificial intelligence in the mainstream daily conversation has catapulted the tool to the top of the most valued startups in recent years. In 2019, even before the launch of ChatGPT less than three years ago, OpenAI had already secured a $1 billion investment from Microsoft. Last month the Wall Street Journal reported that the research lab started talks to sell existing shares in a tender offer that would value the company at around $29 billion – a significant jump in valuation from a prior tender offer completed in 2021, when OpenAI was estimated to be worth $14 billion.

Not everyone, though, has fallen head over heels for ChatGPT.

“ChatGPT is a useful tool if used correctly. Thinking that you will get a perfect copy on your first try every time is unrealistic. In general, it is best practice to use the copy that the tool creates as a first draft. It can be helpful to spark ideas and save some time in the initial stages of developing copy,” says Paula Napolitano, product sales manager at Wisetek. “Pieces generated can also have a robotic quality to them. The lack of nuance and tone gives the impression that a robot wrote the piece, meaning that you lose a personal connection with your audience. ChatGPT is by no means the end of professional copywriting. The platform still doesn’t express itself in a convincing enough way to make it believably human,” highlights Napolitano who has extensive experience in copy development.

“I use the AI tool to help me write emails, blog posts, and Twitter threads. It’s useful for outlining and idea generation, but it can’t give you a finished piece” says Marketing Consultant Michael Comeau. “ChatGPT-written content is often inaccurate, and it’s always boring. It reads like something out of a content farm. So, you have to rewrite everything it outputs, especially since Google and other search engine seem primed to downrank AI-generated content,” analyzes Comeau.

“ChatGPT responses are not 100% accurate but they are easy to curate to your needs. One plus point of the tool is that it generates very ‘accurate data in numbers’. For example, if I need to see the active number of users on Facebook, ChatGPT gives me a very accurate figure leaving room for any potential changes. For content, undoubtedly ChatGPT is a great help, but it can often wrong you. Several times I have had to curate the generated content because it is not always according to our defined personas. Sometimes it even generates totally opposite content to what we are aiming for,” explains Ben Miller, founder of Focus On Digital, who has reduced his Google search for data in numbers after starting to use ChatGPT for marketing purposes.

“ChatGPT sometimes generates totally opposite content to what we are aiming for” – Ben Miller, founder of Focus On Digital.

Some concerns arise from the limited capability of ChatGPT in understanding the sensitive layers of some content.

“We are using ChatGPT to give us the foundation for new articles we write for both our sites. However, we would never dream of simply copy/pasting this content as we know it gets flagged by Google’s algorithms and so we will use a combination of paragraph rewriting tools and our own human editors to improve the content. We have also found that it doesn’t always provide accurate information, especially when it comes to things like LGBTQ+ rights,” points out Darren Burn, CEO at Out Of Office, a full-service luxury travel specialist in inclusive LGBTQI+ travel.

“I do believe it’ll be a good tool for research for content writers, but I would urge management to ensure that its habits don’t seep into copy and content on websites just to try to get more traffic to a site. You can imagine Google is working hard to combat AI-generated SEO written content – and rightly so,” points out Burn.

And British Website Consultant Victoria Bennett, who uses the AI tool to help create content for websites, is using the tool with caution because of some other drawbacks.

“When drafting a blog article, I ask ChatGPT some questions that will help me gain background information quickly. It is accurate most of the time. But I personally wouldn’t rely on it completely and I still check key facts, as it gets some factual information wrong. Recently, while looking for information on golf courses for a blog post, ChatGPT presented me with some incorrect information on who designed a particular course. I had to check the course owner’s website to find the accurate information,” recalls Bennett.

“ChatGPT has also become a victim of its own success when it comes to availability. The tool’s popularity means that the system can become overwhelmed at times. When demand is high, the tool may not be able to admit additional users, causing temporary disruptions in service. This can be frustrating for users, especially for those who are relying on ChatGPT for critical tasks,” says Natasha Maddock from Events Made Simple.

Despite occasional challenges, Maddock believes ChatGPT remains a valuable tool for businesses and individuals looking to improve efficiency and productivity: “Time is precious. We use ChatGPT for a variety of tasks, including editing content, suggesting article topics, writing blog post outlines, and generating FAQs. We were pleasantly surprised by its capabilities,” says the professional, who spent the first 14 years of her career as a technology business adviser.

Inaccuracies delivered by ChatGPT also include out-of-date information about its own products.

Launched early in February 2023 as an alternative for those unsuccessfully trying to login into an overwhelmed website, often informing users that the platform is working at capacity and suggesting account holders try to log in another time – or leave an email to be informed when the free version of the AI tool will be up and running – ChatGPT Plus is a paid version offering advanced features and priority access at peak times in countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The service costs $20 per month. However, 10 days after its launch, when asked to write a paragraph about the premium service and its benefits, ChatGPT returned my prompt informing me that it costs $49 to subscribe for ChatGPT Plus – yes, it isn’t sure even how much OpenAI charges for the usage of its own invention.

There is a reason for that.

Although ChatGPT is a clear breakthrough and has seen tremendous growth in popularity, attracting millions of users from around the world thirsty for a flexible tool for natural language processing, the wide range of content it offers currently stumbles upon another crucial limitation: time.

As the AI tool has only been trained on data up to 2021, it means that ChatGPT has no knowledge of current events. But this won’t stop the artificial intelligence tool from trying to give you some content, if asked – even if it is completely untrue. When asked to write a short article about who is the President of Brazil and when he took office, ChatGPT wrote that former military officer Jair Bolsonaro is the current President of Brazil, having taken office on January 1, 2019. In fact, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva is the actual head of the largest Latin American country.

The viral tool of 2023 also wouldn’t know that singer Sam Smith made headlines with his choice of attire for the red carpet of the Brit Awards this year: a black latex zip-up outfit featuring inflated shoulders and thighs which created a heart-shaped effect on the lower half – an image that ChatGPT couldn’t ever unsee, had it been fed with recent data.

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.


How to use AI to scale your business



A group of creative people in a meeting
AI can be utilised by all types of companies, from small startups to established firms. | Photo: Jason Goodman

The moment you decide to scale your business is incredibly exciting. Maybe you’ve got a great idea for a new sector or product you want to bring to your existing customer base. Or, you want to take your business from a part-time endeavour and make it your full-time livelihood. Regardless of your reason for deciding to scale up, it’s a significant commitment. As a result, you may be struggling to find the time to get started.

Taking the next step in your business can often feel like you’re venturing out of your comfort zone, but modern technology solutions are on hand to help. Artificial intelligence (AI) is breaking down barriers for entrepreneurs and big business owners alike, allowing everyone to benefit from time management, invoicing and creative tools that previously may have required another hire within the team. That’s not to say that AI can replace humans; but for those at the start of their scaling journey, it can represent a smaller financial commitment before taking the plunge and hiring a full-time expert or assistant. Plus, it can speed up many repetitive or data-heavy tasks.

In this post, we explore four ways AI can help you to take your business to the next level.

Find more leads to target

Unless you’ve got an inbox full of customers just waiting for you to release new products or services, the chances are that you’ll need to be proactive when it comes to getting new leads and converting those into sales. Trawling the internet to find stockists, brands who might want to work with you or even just looking through your own database of people who have purchased something previously is extremely time consuming.

AI can take on these tasks for you, meaning that you simply have to review the information and then decide on whether to get in touch with these contacts personally. Additionally, it can help you with creating customer personas and gathering audience insights, hopefully increasing your chances of success once you do pitch.

Increase your marketing capacity

Part of running a successful business is being known and seen in the marketplace, allowing you to remain competitive. In the modern world, that means you need to cover a huge variety of platforms, each with their own unique content strategy. Considering that includes everything from social media to email newsletters, that gives you a lot to do.

AI can help by creating outlines for emails or posts that you can then review and add your personal touch to, significantly reducing the time you need to spend on this task. Or, it can take content you’ve already rewritten and repurpose it for a different platform and audience, allowing you to extend your reach with minimal effort.

Automate and track your finances

Hopefully, as you increase your offering, your number of sales will also increase – but with that comes a rise in the number of invoices you need to create. Financial tasks are one of the areas where AI can be invaluable, as it’s a data-oriented process, which is where this technology tends to excel.

Setting up your business on a platform that works with AI can allow you to automatically generate invoices when a certain trigger is hit – for example, the day after you’ve delivered a service for a client. Plus, it can recognise when invoices haven’t been paid, sending the customer a reminder that their bill is due.

From an accounting perspective, AI can track and categorise your expenses and income. Especially when you take on more employees, this can be incredibly useful, saving you hours of time and hassle when it comes to closing the month.

Gain key data insights

Making the right decisions about which direction to take your business in can be hard. You may have a gut feeling about which markets to target or products to create, but without evidence, it can be difficult to take the risk and put money behind this decision.

AI can help you understand the trends that are happening in your industry, as well as forecasting the impact certain decisions will have on your business. Whilst things can always change, having some data-driven insights into what your future might look like can help you understand how it might be best to progress.

Supercharge your business

AI is a tool that can be utilised by all types of companies, from small startups to established firms. Rather than looking to replace human input, AI can act as a helpful assistant, reducing the financial and time risk associated with scaling.

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Names and physical addresses of 49 Million Dell users leaked



A woman in pajamas using a Dell laptop
The data reportedly encompasses information on systems purchased from Dell between 2017 and 2024

This week, US technology company Dell notified customers about a data breach involving customers’ names and physical addresses. While Dell states that the accessed database contained limited types of customer information related to purchases from the brand and believes there is not a significant risk to its customers given the type of information involved, the company acknowledged yesterday (May 9) that the data accessed via its portal also includes hardware and order information, such as service tag, item description, date of order, and related warranty information. According to Dell, the information involved does not include financial or payment information.

Upon identifying the incident, the American company founded in 1984 says that it has “promptly implemented our incident response procedures, began investigating, took steps to contain the incident and notified law enforcement”. Dell has also engaged a third-party forensics firm to investigate this incident.

On April 29th, the tech website Daily Dark Web published an article disclosing that a hacker was selling access to a database that allegedly contains 49 million Dell customer records. The data reportedly encompasses information on systems purchased from Dell between 2017 and 2024, and the stolen information would include full names and addresses.

Dell suggested customers to check a page with tips to help avoid tech support phone scams

What to do if you have been affected by Dell’s data breach

In an email sent to its customers on Thursday (May 9th), Dell informed them that an internal investigation indicated their information was accessed during the incident. However, the company stated that it doesn’t ‘believe there is significant risk given the limited information impacted.

You read it correctly: Dell doesn’t believe that attackers gaining unauthorized access to 49 million users’ names and physical addresses, leaked due to a data breach, poses a significant risk. The company signed off the warning email suggesting that people “should always keep in mind these tips to help avoid tech support phone scams. If you notice any suspicious activity related to your Dell accounts or purchases, please immediately report concerns to”

The linked blog page, posted in 2018, offers tips such as ‘hang up immediately if you receive a suspicious call’ and ‘hang up if an unsolicited caller pressures you to act quickly.’ However, it is unclear why Dell is informing people about phone scams, as the company states that the recent data breach, which involved the leak of physical addresses of 49 million Dell users, did not include email addresses or telephone numbers.

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AI experts explore ethical video tech for patients prone to falls



Dr Alan Godfrey and lead researcher and PhD student Jason Moore
Dr Alan Godfrey and lead researcher and PhD student Jason Moore

Video-enabled glasses have the potential to support patients at risk of falls by allowing medical staff to monitor how they move around their homes and their community. However, with privacy concerns at the forefront of this new technology, academics at Northumbria University have carried out a cutting-edge study into the ethical use of AI to ensure video footage can be obscured to ensure patient privacy.

Traditionally patients at risk of falls have been assessed based on information they provide themselves in diaries or during short in-clinic observation appointments. However, these do not provide clinical teams with objective, digital data on how patients move around outdoors and in their home environments – the areas in which they are most likely to have a fall.

Trials of inertial wearable technology worn on the lower back – similar to that used in a smart watch – to track patients’ walking movements, known as gait, are proving valuable but there are still pitfalls due to a lack of contextual information around where a patient is, who they are walking with and what activities they are carrying out.

In a bid to both improve, and personalise, patient care for those at risk of falls through illness or age, experts have been keen to explore how they can improve assessments and gain a fuller picture of what might be contributing to any abnormal gait data captured by the wearable devices.

Asking patients to also wear video-enabled glasses will provide much more accurate information on how they move depending on their surroundings, including obstacles and other hazards, where they are at the time and what might be putting them at increased risk of falls.

However, although the use of video technology has many potential benefits, patients wearing these video-enabled glasses – and their families – must be able to maintain their privacy.

In a bid to test how these privacy concerns could be overcome, a group of computing and digital health experts ran a technology pilot to test the application of new AI software that can blur personal data and information captured by video glasses – for example photographs around the home, footage of children or confidential paperwork.

They found that the AI software could successfully analyse the raw video footage and detect and blur details such as faces, letters and laptop or phone screens, ensuring patient privacy could be maintained.

Their research has now been published in Nature Digital Medicine.

Dr Alan Godfrey, Associate Professor in Computer and Information Sciences at Northumbria University, said: “As you can imagine the variability in how people move when they’re completing different tasks is enormous.

“The data or information provided from an inertial wearable device attached to someone when they’re wandering around their house will inevitably differ from the same person when they’re outdoors or walking more quickly to get somewhere or to keep up with someone. This means that while the use of an inertial wearable alone is helpful, it tells us nothing about the context in which a fall may occur.

“Having absolute clarity about the environment and what people are doing is key.”

He added: “We wanted to assess how new developments in AI would allow us to provide video-enabled glasses that would allow medical staff to observe patients’ movements in real environments over a longer time period without invading their privacy.”

The paper demonstrates that by combining information from the wearable device that records gait data with footage captured by video glasses which is obscured where necessary thanks to the ethical use of AI, clinicians have a much more comprehensive picture of how patients’ move in their own surroundings.

This could lead to significant improvements in the accuracy of patient fall risk assessment and in the decision-making process around patient care.

Speaking on the study, lead researcher and PhD student Jason Moore, from the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Northumbria University, said: “Traditionally the use of video within the home has caused some apprehension among patient populations as a result of privacy concerns owing to what else may be captured on camera.

“However, through the use of AI software that can identify and obscure personal or sensitive information we can effectively capture the contextual information that will allow us to better understand abnormal gait data, whilst overcoming the concerns patients may have around the use of video technology in their own homes.

“The benefit of providing this contextual information is that clinicians will have a fuller picture for each individual patient which could ultimately allow them to provide more informed care plans and potentially keep more patients in their own homes for longer.”

The research involved experts from Northumbria’s departments of Computer and Information Sciences; Nursing, Midwifery and Health; and Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, as well as representatives from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and the Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear NHS Trust.

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