COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Attorneys in all 50 states have urged the US Congress to investigate how artificial intelligence can be used to exploit children through pornography and to make laws to prevent it.
In a letter sent Tuesday to the heads of the Democratic and Republican blocs of both houses, attorneys from across the country urged federal lawmakers to “create a commission of experts to study the means and methods of artificial intelligence that can be used to specifically exploit children.” They call for existing restrictions on child abuse materials to be expanded to specifically cover AI-generated images.
“We are embarked on a race against time to protect our country’s children from the dangers of AI,” says the letter, which was obtained in advance by The Associated Press. “In effect, the proverbial walls of the city have been breached. Is the moment to act”.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson led the campaign to gather signatures from his colleagues in all 50 states and four territories. The Republican, re-elected for a fourth term, expressed to the AP last week his hope that federal lawmakers will receive bipartisan support for the project and take action.
“Everyone is focusing on everything that divides us,” said Wilson, who led the coalition with his counterparts from Mississippi, North Carolina and Oregon. “You would think that protecting children from new and innovative exploitative technologies would be something that individuals occupying diametrically opposed positions would agree on, and it appears that they have.
This year, the Senate has held hearings on potential threats from AI-related technologies. In May, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, whose company created ChatGPT, said that government intervention will be crucial to mitigate the dangers of the growing power of artificial intelligence systems. Altman proposed creating a US or global agency that licenses the most powerful AI systems and has the authority to “withdraw that license and ensure compliance with security standards.”
While there are no signs at this time that Congress will craft new rules on AI, as European lawmakers are doing, amid public concerns, US agencies have vowed to crack down on harmful AI products that violate existing laws. civil rights and consumer protection.
In addition to federal measures, Wilson said he encourages his colleagues to study states’ own laws for potential reasons for concern.
“We wonder if existing laws against the exploitation of minors have kept up with the developments of this new technology,” he said.
According to Wilson, one of the dangers of AI is the creation of “deepfakes” – images or videos created digitally or altered through artificial intelligence – of a child who has suffered abuse or the alteration of the image of a real child from a photo taken from social networks and showing abuse.