‘Crimes of Influence’ – crimes that seek to influence people towards harmful outcomes – will be one of the defining features of generative artificial intelligence (AI)-led cybercrime. With an ability to persuade and influence at potentially unavoidable economies of scale, crimes of influence leverage the heuristics and biases that form part of everyday human cognition in ways that mislead, deceive, impair, disrupt, degrade and/or deny user-normative decision-making.

Supported by evolving Crime as a Service (CaaS) models engineered to exploit human cognition, generative AI will challenge legislators, regulators and policymakers in ways that they are currently underprepared for. With generative AI able to surpass its initial deployment configuration via adaptive learning, as well as demonstrating unintended consequences, ‘who’ is then responsible for the crimes it commits when the only human touchpoints occur at the design, deployment and delivery of proceeds-of-crime stages?

This paper draws upon emergent scholarship to explore the present-day exploration of generative AI tools by cybercriminals and terrorists, before looking to a hypothetical future and exploring successful initiatives attempting to address this challenge.

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