To protect children, we need to fill these gaps in AI policy
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The hot trend today for policy makers is talking about artificial intelligence. This incredibly powerful technology is here to stay, and new research shows that most of us are optimistic about how generational AI can improve our lives.
But there are some new and worrisome risks that policymakers need to take into account. This includes a terrible misuse of this advanced technology: bad actors abusing AI to put real people in sexually explicit situations, including minors.
This criminal use of AI tools is not just repetitive; it can destroy a person’s life and dignity. There is a current loophole in the law dealing with such behavior that could allow bad actors to go free, and policymakers need to address it now to ensure that those who hold the guilty accountable appropriately.
Hundreds of laws already outlaw many of the ways bad actors can abuse AI tools. If AI is used to commit fraud, we have anti-fraud laws. The same is true for using AI for illegal discrimination, and the list goes on.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
All existing laws apply to AI as it does to its offline expressions. But there are loopholes, and Americans are hurting.
One such gap still exists when it comes to prosecuting predators handling sexual images of young people. Today’s laws require such images to be real, live pictures. But abusers are using AI tools to evade justice by claiming in court that because a highly detailed sexual image is “AI-generated,” it is not “real,” and therefore not it is not criminal. Unfortunately, the existing letter of the law allows abusers to escape the law’s consequences.
Meanwhile, other bad actors leverage AI to generate “depths” of innocent parties in generic, generic roles. Think of this as modern-day photoshopping of one person’s head on another’s body – except now, the fake is harder to distinguish.
Again, the laws on this are confusing at best. The character of the existing methods of prosecuting criminals is frowned upon and defamed, but since this is “AI” and not a real picture, there is a legal loophole that is needed to fill
GOP makers sound alarm about AI being used to sexually exploit children
These holes in our laws could give criminals a dangerous place, allowing them to hide behind the letter of the law while avoiding its spirit. Therefore, legislative and urgent attention is required. Lawmakers should work, not to ban or over-control AI with a Bake-Off Wish List, but to patch these holes in our current laws to ensure that criminals can work around them to abuse innocent people.
The first step for policymakers is to enact CSAM’s Stop Deepfake Act. This simple bill updates existing child protection laws to make it clear that it is illegal for criminals to use AI to “alter” sexual images of children. If they use a real child in it, even if the rest is created by AI, this is child pornography. It’s illegal, and policymakers need to make sure these predators go to jail.
The next step is to pass the Stop Unauthorized Distribution of Deep Deep Media Act. This updates existing state privacy laws to make it clear that it is illegal to distribute AI images of a known person with the intent to cause harm – addressing serious concerns about the horrendous harassment of “deepfakes” “.
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These changes empower law enforcement to punish bad actors using AI for nefarious purposes. This is not to say that just something illegal will stop it, but this is a good step in getting compensation for injured parties.
The pursuit of justice in the digital age must be dynamic and recognize the new dimensions that AI brings to criminal activity. This is not just a legislative update; it is a moral imperative.
The government must hold those who use tools, including AI, accountable to us, ensuring that the digital world is an extension of our commitment to dignity, safety and justice.
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AI gives us a great opportunity to improve our lives in so many ways. Our leaders must ensure that hope and opportunity are allowed to flourish. Lawmakers must act now to protect innocent people and affirm that America in our digital age advances the principles that define us as a civilized society.
AI must remain a force for good, not a tool to be illegally abused by the misguided.
Click here to read more from CARL SZABO