artificial intelligence

Teodoro warns defense, military personnel against use of AI image generators

Bea Cupin

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Teodoro warns defense, military personnel against use of AI image generators

DEFENSE CHIEF. Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro

Joining an online AI-generated trend? Think again if you're in the DND or the military, says Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro.

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro has warned personnel of defense agencies and the military against using “Artificial Intelligence (AI) Image Generators.”

Teodoro warns defense, military personnel against use of AI image generators

In an October 14 memorandum addressed to top officials of the Department of National Defense (DND) and its bureaus, and the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Teodoro said “personnel are directed to refrain from using AI photo generator applications, and practice vigilance in sharing information online.”

Teodoro noted that the “seemingly harmless and amusing” application could be “maliciously used to create fake profiles that can lead to identity theft, social engineering, phishing attacks, and other malicious activities.”

“There has already been a report of such a case,” added the defense chief, without elaborating.

The authenticity of the memorandum was first confirmed by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ). DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong, said the PCIJ, confirmed that the memo was sent to defense and military personnel.

Without singling out any app, Teodoro said these AI image generating apps “compiles its users’ data and creates a digital person that mimics how a real individual speaks and moves.”

“AIl DND and AFP personnel are directed to refrain from using Al photo generator applications, and practice vigilance in sharing information online. Ensure that your actions are aligned to the Department’s values and are in adherence to existing policies,” added Teodoro.

Several AI image generating apps have trended online in recent months.

The most recent has been the “90s yearbook trend” using the EPIK app to generate “retro” yearbook photos of themselves in prototypical 1990s style.

The application is free but the feature to create the AI-generated features is not. It costs between P199 to P299 to generate up to 60 images.

Users are also required to submit 8 to 12 good selfies to generate the photo set. The EPIK app is a product of the Snow Corporation, a subsidiary of tech giant NAVER.

Snow Corporation has already dismissed privacy concerns, telling NBC in early October that “the EPIK app does not store any personal information, including selfies, that is used to create AI yearbook results.”

Experts have long warned against submitting private information and photos in order to participate in online trends. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.