The Dangers of Trusting AI When Buying or Selling a House

The Dangers of Trusting AI When Buying or Selling a House

Some people jump on the latest technology and dive right in, trying to find every possible use for it. Others just sort of dabble with it, or completely ignore it, until it becomes fully adopted. It happened with cell phones and the Internet, and it’ll likely be the same with Artificial Intelligence.

Most people won’t deny that cell phones and the internet have changed the world for the better. Of course there are some negative aspects that came along with the advances, but it’s virtually impossible to envision day-to-day life without those tools. Again, it’ll likely be the same with AI.

There will be some incredible advances that make life better and easier for us, but the technology will also have drawbacks and pitfalls that we become aware of, and ideally avoid as much as possible.

But for now, it’s still in the early stages, and people who are using it are still trying to figure out:

  • What it can do
  • What it can’t do
  • What we might want to avoid using it for
  • What it might do to us if we aren’t careful

And that all applies to people turning to it in the realm of buying and selling real estate, hoping to find some untapped way of making the process of buying or selling a house better, more efficient, or to produce better results for people. However, doing so may come with more risks than benefits at this point.

 

Using AI Comes With Some Risks

According to a recent article by ATTOM Data, a company that specializes in property data and analytics, there are risks to trusting AI in real estate at this point. The three main problems with it that they cited were:

  1. Misinformation and fake data. At this point, it appears that AI is taking the old “fake it ‘til you make it approach” in some cases, and just making things up out of thin air. While in other scenarios, it’s deliberately being used by people to generate misleading or inaccurate information and data. It often sounds completely believable, when it’s not even close to the truth.
  2. Frauds and scams. Is it any surprise that the newest tech is being used by tech-savvy people to take advantage of those who aren’t? There are some people using it to create fake real estate documents, listings, emails, and even personas.
  3. Cyber attacks. What people put into AI may be leading to information hackers can find and use to launch an attack on real estate companies, title companies, attorneys, or buyers and sellers.


The bottom line seems to be that you shouldn’t entirely trust what you learn with AI, and you need to be careful about what information you feed into it, and allow it to access.

Don’t Give It Any Personal or Confidential Information

That may all sound a little bit vague and unthreatening if you consider yourself even somewhat tech savvy. It may seem worth the risk to play around with AI, trusting that you won’t be misled by the information, or the victim of a scam or attack. But it’s also easy to be a little careless with the information you give AI, in order to try and use it to your advantage.

For instance, someone could be interested in using it to analyze a real estate purchase or investment and enter some personal information or data about themself, or their property. Or perhaps someone was trying to create a sales contract when trying to sell their own house. What many people don’t know is that whatever personal information you put into AI is likely there forever, and might end up being used in ways you could never predict or imagine.

In fact, tech giant Samsung recently learned a valuable lesson about trusting ChatGPT (or other AI platforms) with sensitive information. They only recently started allowing employees to use the tool, and almost immediately after giving them permission, they had three leaks of confidential information.

Unfortunately, even a tech company as big as they are can’t undo the damage; whatever the employees entered into it is there forever. So be extra careful about what you decide to use ChatGPT for, and the information you enter into it, especially if it involves sensitive business information.

 

Time and Education May Help, but Until Then…

Study Finds recently reported that The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024 ranked misinformation and disinformation — primarily driven by “deepfakes” — as the most severe risks in the world currently. While it may be amusing to see some of the images AI creates, it has also been used to create entirely believable likenesses of influential people doing things they’ve never actually done, like President Biden and former President Trump picnicking together, Taylor Swift doing porn, or Mr. Beast promoting an iPhone giveaway that led to financial deceit for some people.

The article suggests that deepfake education in schools may ultimately be necessary and the solution to the threat of AI.

Education can’t hurt, but there’s always something new in the world of advancement and technology that takes some time for people to figure out how to use and what to trust. There are always people and technology that can cause harm to people.

Ultimately it always boils down to being careful and thoughtful about what you trust as a source of information, and what information you can trust it with. Which is why a living, breathing real estate agent you know and trust is such an important resource to have when it comes to buying and selling homes. A real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the business can help you avoid these issues, while using the most up-to-date tools available safely and responsibly.

 

The Takeaway:

It may be tempting to use artificial intelligence to assist in the home selling or buying process, but be skeptical about the information or data it produces, because it can be misleading. And be careful not to input your own personal or confidential information, because once it’s in the AI world, it’s likely there for good and can be accessed or used in ways you might not want it to.

There are some who suggest that people need to be educated in school about the threats AI can pose, so that people can better discern whether something is trustworthy or not. But there’s always a threat that technology is being used by someone to harm or mislead others, which is why it’s important to have a trusted go-to real estate agent when it comes to buying or selling a home, to help you assess what to believe, and who you can trust with even your most personal and confidential information.

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