Japan's police arrest man for using generative AI to create computer virus

Police in Tokyo have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of producing a computer virus with the help of generative artificial intelligence. The case is believed to be Japan's first involving a virus created by generative AI.

Hayashi Ryuki of Kawasaki City, south of Tokyo, was arrested on Monday on suspicion of using AI to create a ransomware virus.

The virus reportedly contains programs designed to encrypt data on targeted systems and demand cryptocurrency as ransom.

Hayashi allegedly had no IT expertise. He accessed multiple AI dialogue search engines online last March and repeatedly asked questions to obtain information on malware.

Hayashi has reportedly admitted the allegations, telling investigators he wanted to make money and thought he could do anything if he asked AI.

Police say there have been no reports of damage caused by the virus so far.

The use of AI for illicit activities has become a global concern. This case has come to light at a time when discussions on how to regulate such incidents are beginning taking place in Japan.