Artificial intelligence’s ability to generate deepfake content that easily fools humans poses a genuine threat to financial markets, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission warned.
(Bloomberg) — Artificial intelligence’s ability to generate deepfake content that easily fools humans poses a genuine threat to financial markets, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission warned.
“We have good laws, but these new technologies will challenge those laws,” Chair Gary Gensler said Tuesday during an SEC oversight hearing by the Senate Banking Committee. The top US markets cop told lawmakers that in cases of AI-induced fraud or market tumult, the agency would look for the humans behind the algorithms.
The comments came in response to a question from Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat and former tech executive who asked how the SEC can ensure that the rise of powerful machine learning and artificial intelligence doesn’t undermine market stability.
The vulnerabilities to fake media were highlighted in May when an image purportedly of the Pentagon on fire circulated online. The image showing a large pillar of smoke next to the military complex was ultimately proven fake, but only after it sent stocks into a brief dip during morning trading.
Gensler has been sounding the alarm on the emerging technology’s ability to spark a future financial meltdown.
“This is the most transformative technology of this generation,” he said in July.
The more companies build algorithms atop the same underlying data, the more concentration risk builds up in the sector, Gensler said.
The SEC launched a rulemaking in July to require brokers and money managers to root out conflicts of interest in their interactions with clients. But the proposal, which likely won’t be finalized for at least a year, is already drawing strong pushback from industry groups who caution its definition of artificial intelligence is broad enough to encompass even excel spreadsheets or databases.
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