Artificial intelligence (AI) will likely play a big role on Valentine’s Day, according to a report released by security software company McAfee. The company conducted a survey that found that one in four adults surveyed (26%) are considering using generative AI tools to write a love letter to their partner or potential love interest. Interestingly, the study also found that more than two-thirds of adults (67%) couldn’t tell the difference between a love letter written by AI and one written by a human.
The findings are part of McAfee’s new research report titled Modern Love, which aimed to uncover the role of AI and the Internet in transforming love and relationships in the modern era. The study surveyed 5,000 people in nine countries to collect the data. The biggest takeaway from the study is that more than a quarter of respondents are already considering using tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google Gemini, and Microsoft Copilot to help them profess their love on dates and partners.
The most common reason for using AI-powered ghostwriting was that it would make the sender appear more confident (27%), according to the study. Lack of time to personally write the letter and lack of inspiration were cited as the second most popular reasons with 21 percent each. Another ten percent said using AI would be faster to complete the same task.
While many respondents didn’t think they could get caught, nearly half of adults surveyed (49%) said they would be offended if they received a love letter written by a generative tool powered by AI. But when presented with a love letter, 67% of them couldn’t determine whether it was written by a human or using a machine.
Generative AI tools based on large language models (LLM) are capable of writing texts that appear to have been written by a human. Most of these tools allow users to add prompts to control and customize writing style, flow, structure, tone, and more. Additionally, ChatGPT Plus, Copilot Pro, and other high-end AI assistants allow users to create chatbots that could be trained solely on their written material and sound much more like them when composing responses.
McAfee’s study highlights that this close resemblance to human writing style can be maliciously used by cybercriminals to commit romance scams. Romance scams are planned crimes in which scammers prey on vulnerable people with false promises of love and relationships. The study found that 51% of respondents admitted to being victims of catfishing (talking to or meeting strangers online who pretend to be someone else). The company also urged people to remain more vigilant during this time and never respond to a stranger’s (or even someone they know) request to send money or sensitive information online.
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