Does artificial intelligence facilitate white-collar crime?

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A cubicle office in Russia. (Photo: Pixabay)
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Hamza Alakaleek

Hamza Alakaleek has graduate degrees in International Political Economy and International Business Law from Yarmouk University and University de Montreal with focus in Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Data Protection.

While artificial intelligence (AI) offers numerous transformative benefits, it is essential to critically examine its potential role in facilitating white-collar crime. White-collar crime, traditionally associated with non-violent offenses committed by individuals in positions of power, has seen a significant transformation with the advent of AI technologies.  اضافة اعلان

White-collar crime encompasses a wide range of fraudulent activities committed by individuals or organizations for financial gain. With advancements in technology, particularly AI, perpetrators have found new avenues to exploit vulnerabilities and perpetrate sophisticated crimes. AI has influenced the landscape of White-collar crime, both positively and negatively.

AI’s complicated relationship with fraud
AI technologies have revolutionized fraud detection systems by enabling real-time monitoring and analysis of vast amounts of data. Machine learning algorithms can identify patterns indicative of fraudulent behavior, thereby enhancing early detection and prevention efforts. Many authorities have utilized AI-powered tools to be employed to combat financial crimes such as money laundering, insider trading, and identity theft.

AI algorithms rely heavily on vast amounts of data for training and decision-making processes. Criminals may exploit vulnerabilities within these algorithms to manipulate data inputs or compromise privacy safeguards. Such manipulations can lead to fraudulent financial reporting, identity theft, or unauthorized access to sensitive information.

In addition, the rise in cybercrime has been closely linked to advancements in AI technology. Criminals leverage AI algorithms to automate attacks, develop sophisticated phishing techniques, or exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems. Many have used AI in cybercrime activities such as ransomware attacks, social engineering scams, and data breaches. AI technologies have the potential to amplify cybercriminal activities by enabling more sophisticated attacks such as spear-phishing, deepfake scams, or advanced social engineering techniques.

Criminals can also leverage AI algorithms to generate realistic phishing emails or create convincing fake identities that are difficult for traditional security measures to detect; for example, two weeks ago a man who used artificial intelligence to imitate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s voice in order to deceive select companies and high-level governmental officials. The fraudster used artificial intelligence software to simulate President Erdogan's voice and called businesspeople from more than 10 distinct foreign nationals' mobile phones.

AI and ethics
Furthermore, while AI offers promising solutions for combating White-collar crime, it also raises ethical concerns that must be addressed. The potential misuse or bias within AI systems can lead to false accusations or wrongful convictions.

The rapid evolution of AI technology poses significant challenges for legal frameworks and regulatory bodies. Existing legal frameworks may struggle to keep pace with the evolving nature of AI-driven white-collar crimes. This further blurs the lines of legality and ethics when dealing with AI, which can adapt far quicker than our legal systems. Which necessitates international cooperation to establish comprehensive regulations that keep pace with technological advancements – yet international legal systems are even more complex than national ones, requiring more time.

Additionally, the complexity of AI systems makes it difficult to attribute responsibility and hold individuals accountable for their actions. Through its automation, and, importantly, machine learning, AI can often make decisions on its own, making fault difficult to pinpoint.

AI algorithms in decision-making processes, such as credit scoring or hiring practices, can perpetuate existing biases and discrimination. Further, White collar criminals may exploit these biases to gain unfair advantages, such as securing loans or employment opportunities based on manipulated data inputs.

Understanding the impact of AI
The impact of AI on White collar crime is undeniable, with both positive advancements in fraud detection and negative implications in cybercrime activities. As technology continues to evolve rapidly, policymakers must proactively address ethical concerns and regulatory challenges associated with AI-driven white-collar crime. By fostering collaboration between law enforcement agencies, private sector organizations, and academia, as well as implementing appropriate safeguards, society can harness the potential of AI while minimizing its misuse for criminal purposes.

While AI holds immense potential for positive societal impact, it is essential to recognize its potential role in facilitating White collar crime. The ethical considerations and societal implications associated with the misuse of AI technologies in criminal activities require responsible and necessary development, regulation, and ongoing monitoring to harness the benefits of AI while minimizing its potential negative consequences on society's financial integrity and security.

Dr. Hamza Alakaleek is a Corporate lawyer and tax consultant with post-graduate degrees in international political economy, international business law, and law and technology with a focus on Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and data protection.

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