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AG Nessel Urges Congress to Study Artificial Intelligence and Its Harmful Effects on Children

LANSING As part of a bipartisan 54-state and territory coalition, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a letter urging Congress to study how artificial intelligence (AI) can and is being used to exploit children through child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and to propose legislation to protect children from those abuses.

“Artificial Intelligence poses a serious threat to our children, and abusers are already taking advantage,” Nessel said. Our laws and regulations must catch up to the technology being used by those who prey on our children. I stand with my colleagues in asking Congress to prioritize examining the dangers posed by AI-generated child sexual abuse material.”

The dangers of AI as it relates to CSAM consist of three main categories: a real child who has not been physically abused, but whose likeness is being digitally altered in a depiction of abuse; a real child who has been physically abused and whose likeness is being digitally recreated in other depictions of abuse; and a child who does not exist, but is being digitally created in a depiction of abuse that feeds the market for CSAM.

The letter states that AI 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 Nessel and the rest of the coalition ask Congress to form a commission specifically 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.”

Besides Michigan, the letter, which was co-led by South Carolina, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Oregon in a bipartisan effort, was joined by 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, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

You can read the full letter here.


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