As part of a bipartisan 54-state-and-territory coalition, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes today joined a letter urging Congress to study how artificial intelligence (AI) can and is being used to exploit children online and to propose legislation to protect children from those abuses.
AG Reyes states, “As artificial intelligence accelerates our country’s incredible tech advances, we need to protect children from those who would weaponize AI to harm, exploit or abuse our kids in any way. As a former tech VC, I am personally aware of the many benefits of AI. As a law enforcement leader, I also see the tragic use of AI in the hands of vicious predators. I’m proud to join this bipartisan coalition of state AGs as we advocate to defend children’s innocence on this new frontier of human achievement.”
The dangers of AI as it relates to online child sexual exploitation fall into three main categories: (1) a real child who has not been physically abused but whose likeness has been digitally altered to depict abuse, (2) a real child who has been physically abused and whose likeness has been digitally reproduced in other depictions of abuse, and (3) a child who does not even exist who has been digitally created in a depiction of abuse that feeds the market for online child sexual exploitation.
According to the letter, “AI is also being used to generate child sexual abuse material (CSAM). For example, AI tools can rapidly and easily create ‘deepfakes’ by studying real photographs of abused children to generate new images showing those children in sexual positions. This involves overlaying the face of one person on the body of another. Deepfakes can also be generated by overlaying photographs of otherwise unvictimized children on the internet with photographs of abused children to create new CSAM involving the previously unharmed children.”
Attorney General Reyes and the rest of the coalition ask Congress to form a commission to study how AI can be used to exploit children and to “act to deter and address child exploitation, such as by expanding existing restrictions on CSAM to explicitly cover AI-generated CSAM.”
The letter continues, “We are engaged in a race against time to protect the children of our country from the dangers of AI. Indeed, the proverbial walls of the city have already been breached. Now is the time to act.”
The bipartisan letter is led by South Carolina and co-sponsored by Mississippi, North Carolina, and Oregon. Also joining Utah on the letter are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia. Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, the Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.