Does the IRS Plan to Weaponize AI Against Us?

AI has caused a lot fear fear-mongering. It’s said that AI will ruin our lives. Some of it seems silly. AI is used to create funny artwork and to try to help kids cheat in English classes.

You can also enjoy some of the best AI-generated music including this Trump Rap:

There are people who use AI to do more evil things. I am most concerned when the government begins weaponizing artificial intelligence. An article was written by my colleague, who examined what appears to have been a series of articles generated by AI which creates a fake daughter for the former Governor Bill Richardson. The New York Times published a piece in the morning that explains how, for instance, the Internal Revenue Service will use it to combat big-money transactions.

“These are complex cases for I.R.S. teams to unpack,” Daniel Werfel, the I.R.S. commissioner, said in a briefing with reporters. “The I.R.S. has simply not had enough resources or staffing to address partnerships; in a real sense, we’ve been overwhelmed in this area for years.”

Mr. Werfel explained how artificial intelligence helps the I.R.S. Identifying patterns and trends gives the agency more confidence in its ability to find out where large partnerships are hiding income. This is allowing the IRS to conduct major audits. The IRS may not have tackled major audits before.

By the end of this month, the agency will begin examining 75 of the largest partnerships in the country, identified using artificial intelligence. All the partnerships have assets of more than $10 billion and will be receiving audit notices over the next few weeks.

There will likely be more audits. The I.R.S. will conduct an audit in October. The IRS will send 500 compliance alerts to large partnerships where the agency found discrepancies on their balance sheets. An audit could be conducted on these partnerships if they are unable to explain differences between their balances at the end of the year and the beginning of the next.

The IRS has announced that it intends to expand its program. This is not good news for us.

The IRS has not said much about its plans to use artificial intelligence to combat tax evasion. Mr. Werfel said that the technology will be used to identify “compliance risks” that are difficult to detect and help the agency reduce unnecessary audits.

The I.R.S. has been searching for data scientists who can develop new artificial intelligence tools in-house. Mr. Werfel stated that the agency also collaborates with contractors and experts from outside on the project.

It’s obvious that you have a friend.

It is the direct result of an additional $80 billion that was allocated by Joe Manchin’s Inflation Reduction Act last year (thanks!). Republicans had warned that this would increase the number of IRS agents auditing Americans. This is worse. Imagine how much more efficient it would be to have a computer do your auditing for you.

That’s it. This is not the AI from science fiction. Artificial intelligence is in its generative phase – it doesn’t think for itself but uses algorithms to decide what to do using information that it has been fed. It’s not thinking for itself, but rather using computer code and probability. This programming can be used for much more than just the major things. Once you give the government power, they will do everything in their power to increase it.

Congress must act immediately to limit the use of this technology by government agencies against citizens.