The Philippine military has been ordered to stop using artificial intelligence applications

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ defense chief has ordered all defense personnel and the 163,000-strong military to refrain from using digital apps that harness artificial intelligence to create personal portraits, saying they could pose security risks.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro issued the order in an Oct. 14 memorandum as Philippine forces work to weaken decades-old communist and Muslim insurgencies as well as defending territorial interests in the disputed South China Sea;.

The Defense Ministry on Friday confirmed the authenticity of the memo, which has been circulating online for the past few days, but did not provide further details, including what prompted Teodoro to issue the ban.

Teodoro specifically warned against using a digital app that requires users to submit at least 10 photos of themselves and then leverages artificial intelligence to create “a digital person that mimics the way a real person talks and moves.” Such apps pose “significant privacy and security risks,” he said.

“This seemingly harmless and fun AI-powered app can be maliciously used to create fake profiles that can lead to identity theft, social engineering, phishing attacks, and other malicious activities,” Teodoro said. “There was already a report of such a case.”

Teodoro ordered all defense and military personnel to “refrain from using AI photo-creating apps and exercise vigilance in sharing information online,” and said their actions must adhere to Defense Department values ​​and policies.

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