As more and more platforms move to using AI-based systems, there is a growing concern about how these systems can be manipulated for social engineering purposes. This is especially true for commenting software platforms such as FaceBook, which is often used to spread disinformation and manipulate public opinion.

While there are many benefits to using AI-based systems, we must be aware of the risks involved and take steps to mitigate them. SmartComment is committed to providing a safe and secure platform for its users, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely! That said, much of the alarm raised by opponents of AI technology is at worst incredibly premature, and at best based on an inaccurate concept of how AI will affect our lives in the coming decades.

That acknowledged, it’s important to outline the risks of any new technology so we can appropriately incorporate it into our day-to-day operations. For a comprehensive overview of AI and how it might be used by companies like ours in the years ahead, read on!

What is social engineering and how does it work in relation to commenting software platforms?

Social engineering is a type of psychological manipulation which uses techniques to deceive people for personal gain. It encompasses a wide range of techniques, from impersonation through to exploiting cognitive biases. In relation to commenting software platforms, without security protocols in place, it can in some cases facilitate ideological reinforcement of existing beliefs. This can become dangerous insofar as it constructs feedback loops for bad behavior.

More often than not, this sort of engineering is concocted with the ultimate goal of theft, by encouraging users to divulge their personal information or follow fraudulent links. These links lead users to malicious websites that steal usernames and passwords, or can enable malicious software to be installed on the user’s machine without their knowledge. Social engineers will also use ‘click-baiting’, making false promises in order to trick users into revealing details such as financial account numbers or social security numbers.

How is social engineering accelerated through AI?

Malevolent attacks take advantage of social cues, such as the trust we may have in certain sources suggested by algorithms, to manipulate us into revealing sensitive data or gathering information. AI can be harnessed to enable complex automated social engineering operations that are more difficult to detect and thwart than traditional methods. AI could be used for creating sophisticated phishing campaigns or individual personalized attacks on users, which would not only be hard to detect, but also more difficult to resist due to their increased efficacy and precision.

By using AI-driven deep-fakes of trustworthy sources, such as friends’ accounts, scammers would easily mislead unsuspecting users into giving up confidential data or engaging in malicious activities. It is therefore important for authorities and platform providers to be aware of this shift in approach and implement safeguards against these intensified social engineering attacks.

Simply put, as AI-driven systems become more sophisticated, their ability to solicit desired reactions from users becomes more powerful. Therefore, it is important that both individuals and businesses are aware of the potential dangers of social engineering and take precautions against being at risk.

Luckily for a company like SmartComment, the opportunities for such engineering are far fewer than with a social media platform. In fact, in our case AI can be used to prevent attacks by automatically locating potential misuse cases before they get out of hand. We can use it to screen users before they even enter our system.

The reality is most companies have zero incentive to allow bad actors to flourish.

Most businesses don’t sell ad space, and neither do we…

At the end of the day most of these issues are incentive driven. Social media platforms have a lot to lose in terms of user experience chiefly because they make their money from selling ads to whomever is willing to buy the space. At their global scale, this means it’s easy for them to miss bad actors before it’s too late, because they have a monetary incentive to accept money from people for potentially misleading content and/or information.

Most companies don’t have this issue – ours included. Our guiding light is to simply offer the most professional, above-board exchange software for project managers and community stakeholders to get from A to Z. It’s all about long term project planning efficiency, not short-term financial gain. This makes AI more of a win than a threat, as we aren’t selling the ad space that opens the flood gates to inaccurate information – the same type of information that encourages bad behavior.

We just want to make sure everyone is heard, and projects are completed more intelligently and efficiently – end of story.

What should commenting software platforms do to prevent these kinds of attacks from happening on their systems?

Ironically, for most businesses it’s AI itself that offers the most resources for preventing social engineering attacks. As referenced above, commenting software platforms have a lot to gain by integrating AI into their systems. There are many potential use cases, including automated flagging of suspicious content, analysis of user behavior, and the ability to delete or suspend accounts with suspicious activity. While it’s essential that the platform’s moderators review flagged comments quickly and take appropriate action, AI-based solutions allow for greater scope of coverage and moderation.

Creating effective rules and policies around comment moderation can help ensure that users are held accountable. Finally, communication between the platform and its users is essential – letting users know about potential consequences for harassment or abusive language will help ensure a safe environment for everyone.