The Law and Business of Social Media
March 14, 2024 - Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Patent, Trademark

Social Links: March 2024

Conversations around AI continue to dominate the headlines in early 2024 and show no signs of abating anytime soon. Here are few of the stories and trends we’ve been tracking at Socially Aware.

A deepfake technology scam cost a multinational company’s Hong Kong office upwards of $25M earlier this month. The scam involved an employee who was duped during a video call that involved AI-created likenesses of various company employees, including the CFO, who instructed the employee to transfer funds to five different Hong Kong bank accounts. This event has reinforced persistent concerns in the technology community and beyond about AI’s use and its role in tricking people into believing AI-generated images, likenesses, and audio recreations are real.

Media giant Fox is contemplating using its blockchain protocol known as Verify, an open-source protocol that emerged out of Fox’s Blockchain Creative Labs, to help companies “track how their content is being used online,” according to an Axios report. Blockworks added that “Verify uses digital signatures to allow publishers to put media on-chain, making it easier for everyone to trace the original source of the content.” Fox’s hope is that this technology will help consumers and other content producers trace the origins of any piece of content that is included in the protocol.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently issued new guidelines on AI tools and their potential misuse by practitioners in its administrative tribunals. In a recent memorandum from the PTO, Director Kathi Vidal cited potential issues around AI-generated submissions to the PTO, stating that “[a] submission (including an AI-generated or AI-assisted submission) that misstates facts or law could also be construed as a paper presented for an improper purpose because it could ‘cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of any proceeding before the Office.’”

Finally, the Chief AI Officer, 0r CAIO, is trending as one of the hottest new job titles across industries and sectors, and, particularly, the federal government. With that, there are two schools of thought on where an organization’s AI responsibilities should reside. Some believe it should be concentrated in a singular executive C-suite role, while Axios reports that some organizations are looking to distribute AI strategies across several executives and functional areas rather than concentrate those responsibilities within one department or role. Leading AI expert Ryan Heath believes that “AI strategy should be everyone’s job” within an organization. With the rapidly expanding role that AI continues to play in commerce and society, we will be keeping a close watch on how companies and individuals grapple with this emerging dominant technology.