General Motors (GM), a US-based vehicle manufacturer, is reportedly exploring the use of ChatGPT in its cars – but experts believe the popular chatbot could pose cyber security risks.

In an interview with Reuters last week, a GM spokesperson announced the potential for integrating OpenAI’s ChatGPT as part of their ongoing collaboration with Microsoft.

While experts agree the future of ChatGPT-integrated cars is inevitable, they claim that it could pose many of the same risks other artificial intelligence (AI) applications.

“The risks alongside this new step forward are the same as they’ve always been,” Megan Boyle, head of content marketing at The Audit Lab, told Verdict. 

“The aims of any developments to driving should always be to aid our journeys or keep us safe, and the risks with AI chatbots is that they might hinder our ability to stay focused and safe,” added Boyle. 

As well as distraction, experts have warned that having a digital assistant in a vehicle leaves it vulnerable to hackers.

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Dennis Kengo Oka, principle automotive security strategist at Synopsys Software Integrity Group, told Verdict: “Similar to how early usage of ChatGPT with limited restrictions allowed it to write malware and hacking tools, or to gain information that could be used with malicious intent, a digital assistant in your car could also be abused to potentially gain certain harmful information.

“[Like] how to clone keys or run unauthorised commands which could lead to attackers stealing cars.”

A spokesperson for GM claimed the exploration of integrating ChatGPT is no longer about “one single capability like the evolution of voice commands” and instead about customers “[expecting] their future vehicles to be far more capable and fresh overall when it comes to emerging technologies.”

“ChatGPT is going to be in everything,” GM vice president, Scott Miller, told Reuters.

ChatGPT could be used to program functions within the vehicle or even access information on how to use the car instead of a driver needing a manual, according to Miller.

OpenAI’s AI chatbot ChatGPT has been making headlines across the world since it launched in November, 2022. Built with OpenAI’s GPT-3 group of large language models, the application has a growing number of use cases. 

From writing emails to producing code, the application is creating much interest across the technology industry and beyond.

“This is simply the next step forward in AI technology. Assistants already exist in cars, so the concept is nothing new. The only thing that could change is the level of assistance they are able to provide us,” added Boyle.

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publication.