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What are AI agents and how do they pose a risk to privacy? | Explained

After the introduction of AI agents, many of our tasks can be simplified. These agents can understand multiple languages like humans, but they also raise significant privacy concerns.

Written By: Om Gupta New Delhi Published on: May 28, 2024 18:33 IST
AI agent
Image Source : FILE AI agent

The emergence of ChatGPT-4o and Google Project Astra has sparked a new era in AI. These two generative AI platforms can provide real-time intelligent responses through audio or video inputs. They are capable of answering questions based on information available on the internet, setting them apart from previous AI agents like Google Voice Assistant, Siri, and Alexa. However, these advanced capabilities come with significant privacy concerns.

What is an AI Agent? 

An AI agent is a virtual assistant that can interact in real-time using artificial intelligence systems. It can communicate through text, images, or voice, and is widely used in industries such as banking, telecom, and insurance to handle customer inquiries.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, during the launch of Project Astra, emphasized that conversing with an AI agent feels like talking to a human rather than typing into a text box. These new AI agents gather information from their environment through sensors and provide real-time responses using AI algorithms.

How are they different from LLM? 

It's important to note that AI agents with generative AI are distinct from Large Language Models (LLM) like GPT-3 or GPT-4, as AI agents facilitate natural interactions beyond generating text. While LLMs provide real-time responses in text form, AI agents respond contextually and can handle complex queries using their AI algorithms. Examples of this are GPT-4o and Project Astra.

What risk do they pose to privacy? 

Despite their benefits, AI agents raise privacy concerns due to their access to users' private data and surroundings. They can also utilize this data to train AI models. Given their rising popularity, it's essential to establish regulatory frameworks for these agents.

In addition to privacy, AI agents face other challenges including reliability, technical complexity, and potential biases in the information they provide. Therefore, it's important to approach their output with caution and critical thinking.

ALSO READ: WhatsApp head responds to Musk's data export claim but users are not satisfied: Here's why


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