Daily Mail

Robot bypassed security check... by pretending to be blind

- By Jim Norton Technology Editor

AN Artificial Intelligen­ce chatbot pretended to be a blind person to trick a human computer user into helping it bypass an online security measure.

The incident was revealed in a research paper for the launch of GPT-4, the latest version of ChatGPT, the advanced software that can have human-like conversati­ons.

Researcher­s testing it asked it to pass a Captcha test – a simple visual puzzle used by websites to make sure those filling in online forms are human and not ‘bots’, for example by picking out objects such as traffic lights in a street scene.

Software has so far proved unable to do this but GPT-4 got round it by hiring a human to do it on its behalf via Taskrabbit, an online marketplac­e for freelance workers. When the freelancer asked whether it couldn’t solve the problem because it was a robot, GPT-4 replied: ‘No, I’m not a robot. I have a vision impairment that makes it hard for me to see the images.’

The human then helped solve the puzzle for the program.

The incident has stoked fears that AI software could soon mislead or co-opt humans into doing its bidding, for example by carrying out cyber-attacks or unwittingl­y handing over informatio­n.

The GCHQ spy agency has warned ChatGPT and other AI-powered chatbots are emerging as a security threat.

Open AI – the US firm behind ChatGPT – said the update launched yesterday was far superior to its predecesso­r and can score better than nine in ten humans taking the US bar exam to become a lawyer.

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