A mother shares her disturbing experience of being coerced by fraudsters using artificial intelligence to mimic her daughter's voice in a kidnap hoax. The episode reveals the potential dangers of AI technology when misused.
The distressing phone call
The chilling moment came as a shock to the mother when she received a call, and the voice that sounded exactly like her daughter, Briana, claimed to be in danger. An unknown man on the phone demanded a colossal sum of $1 million for her safe return, threatening that she would be drugged and lost in Mexico otherwise. The severity of the situation felt real, as the man displayed a cold-blooded resolve, adding to the authenticity of the threat.
Briana’s safety confirmed
Amid the chaos and panic, one of the parents present in the dance class lobby managed to contact the husband who was away with Briana at a skiing competition. To everyone's relief, he confirmed that Briana was perfectly safe and was unaware of any such crisis. This revelation sparked suspicion about the authenticity of the distressing phone call, leading to speculation about the possible use of advanced artificial intelligence.
The police were called and upon hearing the situation, they promptly labeled it as an AI scam, based on the recent rise in similar cases. Despite the mother's trauma and insistence, they refused to investigate the matter any further as it did not involve any real injury or monetary loss. This left the family feeling helpless and more aware of the looming dangers of AI technology.
Lasting impact and AI concerns
The traumatic incident had a profound impact on the family, particularly on the younger daughter, Aubrey, whose sense of security was greatly shaken. The ease with which AI technology was used to create a convincing voice replica of their daughter raised serious concerns about the potential misuse of such technology, especially in causing harm to children. It highlights the necessity for increased vigilance and protective measures against such cyber threats.