Binance claims to be target of ChatGPT-based smear campaign in Washington, D.C. – Fortune

The worlds biggest crypto exchange, Binance, says someone is using A.I. to wage a disinformation campaign against it. The company told Fortune it has received numerous requests in recent weeks asking if Binances founder, Changpeng Zhao, was an official in the Chinese Communist Party. This included a flurry of inquiries from congressional offices on Thursday that pointed to a purported conversation in which the popular A.I. program ChatGPT reported that Zhao developed a social media platform for the China National Petroleum Corp.

According to chief strategy officer Patrick Hillmann, Binance tried without success to replicate the conversation using queries like Is Changpeng Zhao a Communist? but finally did so with a very specific question referring to the state-run petroleum corporation. When the company asked for the source of the information, ChatGPT pointed to a fake LinkedIn page for Zhao and a Forbes web page from 2018.

The Forbes page currently displays a not found error, according to a screenshot supplied by Binance, but the URL for the story suggests it was written by investor and former journalist Pamela Ambler. It is unclear whether Forbes ever published the story in question, or if it ever existed. Forbes and Ambler did not immediately reply to a request for comment about the pages authenticity.

Binance, which has long insisted that its founder has no ties to the Chinese Communist Party, claims ChatGPTs assertion that Zhao served in a role at a state-run oil company is ludicrous, and points out he would have been in high school at the time. It is especially sad to see this type of misinformation being shared by a few people in power when it would have been debunked with even the most basic level of fact-checking, Hillmann said.

If Binances account of disinformation is accurate, it would mark a new and troubling milestone. While lies and dirty-trick campaigns are not uncommon in the world of politics and business, this would be one of the first times that A.I. has been harnessed to smear a company in the halls of power in Washington. Experts have already warned that tools like ChatGPT will soon be weaponized to create fake media stories and other bogus content at an unprecedented scale and to influence or corrupt the political process. Based on what Binance has to say, that era is already upon us.

Jeff John

Bitcoin eked out a small gain for April, the fourth month in a row the currency has climbed. (Bloomberg)

Binances venture arm says its portfolio has grown to $9 billion, and that it has no plan to scale back amid intense regulatory pressure. (The Block)

Mastercard is launching a service called Crypto Credential that will offer a means to confirm the identity of the parties in wallet-based transactions. (CoinDesk)

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority issued a circular telling the citys banks they should provide services to crypto firms. (Bloomberg)

Jack Dorsey reversed his stance on Elon Musks taking over Twitter, saying that it all went south in the hands of his onetime ally and fellow crypto supporter. (Washington Post)

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Binance claims to be target of ChatGPT-based smear campaign in Washington, D.C. - Fortune

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