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posted by hubie on Saturday September 09 2023, @01:42AM   Printer-friendly
from the think-of-the-AI-generated-children dept.

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2023/09/ai-generated-child-sex-imagery-has-every-us-attorney-general-calling-for-action/

On Wednesday, American attorneys general from all 50 states and four territories sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to establish an expert commission to study how generative AI can be used to exploit children through child sexual abuse material (CSAM). They also call for expanding existing laws against CSAM to explicitly cover AI-generated materials.

"As Attorneys General of our respective States and territories, we have a deep and grave concern for the safety of the children within our respective jurisdictions," the letter reads. "And while Internet crimes against children are already being actively prosecuted, we are concerned that AI is creating a new frontier for abuse that makes such prosecution more difficult."

In particular, open source image synthesis technologies such as Stable Diffusion allow the creation of AI-generated pornography with ease, and a large community has formed around tools and add-ons that enhance this ability. Since these AI models are openly available and often run locally, there are sometimes no guardrails preventing someone from creating sexualized images of children, and that has rung alarm bells among the nation's top prosecutors. (It's worth noting that Midjourney, DALL-E, and Adobe Firefly all have built-in filters that bar the creation of pornographic content.)

"Creating these images is easier than ever," the letter reads, "as anyone can download the AI tools to their computer and create images by simply typing in a short description of what the user wants to see. And because many of these AI tools are 'open source,' the tools can be run in an unrestricted and unpoliced way."

As we have previously covered, it has also become relatively easy to create AI-generated deepfakes of people without their consent using social media photos.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by gnuman on Saturday September 09 2023, @10:24AM (8 children)

    by gnuman (5013) on Saturday September 09 2023, @10:24AM (#1323813)

    There used to be some cases about cartoons and child porn some years ago. I have no idea where that went.

    Regarding US Attorney General, well, they are prosecutors, no? So they like to have some opinions on these things because they will find this material intermixed with real abuse imagery too. I think this could make things difficult for prosecutors because until recently, all these imagery was caused by egregious child abuse. Today, maybe some would claim "but your honour, I just used AI to satisfy my problem and I would never harm or contribute to harm of another innocent child". And then what?

    Furthermore, this is not just problem with child abuse. Now you can say any imagery was just "generated and no one was harmed"? It becomes difficult to use imagery as form of evidence in a crime, especially if the victim cannot be located.

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by janrinok on Saturday September 09 2023, @11:49AM (5 children)

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 09 2023, @11:49AM (#1323823) Journal

    I can understand your argument but I do not agree with it.

    If I draw a sketch of a person shooting someone else have I committed a crime? I cannot think of a jurisdiction in which I could be prosecuted for such a thing. Someone might argue that it indicates something about my mental state but, even if that were proven to be the case, that is still not a crime.

    This is leaning towards a society where even drawing some images is considered a terrible sin - we can all recall the furore of a few years ago when a cartoon depicting Allah was printed in the French weekly 'Charlie Hebdo'. This resulted in people being murdered as one group of religious zealots wanted to avenge their God.

    If Prosecutors cannot say with certainty that an image depicts an actual identifiable child and that the creation of that image resulted in genuine harm to that child then there is, surely, 'reasonable doubt' and the prosecution should fail. It is only of significant interest because we are being told, yet again, 'think of the children'.

    No child was involved in the creation of that image just as no person was actually shot by my own sketch. Should an image of a sexual assault mean that somebody has attempted to commit rape? Or is it only because the image involves an imaginary child?

    --
    I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by maxwell demon on Saturday September 09 2023, @02:19PM (1 child)

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday September 09 2023, @02:19PM (#1323856) Journal

      when a cartoon depicting Allah was printed in the French weekly 'Charlie Hebdo'.

      It was a depiction of Mohammed, not Allah.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday September 09 2023, @03:07PM

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 09 2023, @03:07PM (#1323867) Journal

        I will await the hordes descending on my abode to serve me with their justice....

        --
        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by pTamok on Saturday September 09 2023, @05:36PM (1 child)

      by pTamok (3042) on Saturday September 09 2023, @05:36PM (#1323881)

      No child was involved in the creation of that image just as no person was actually shot by my own sketch. Should an image of a sexual assault mean that somebody has attempted to commit rape? Or is it only because the image involves an imaginary child?

      I think an issue here is that we don't want to normalise the idea that sexual activity with a participant that, by legal definition, cannot consent is OK.

      But you raise a good point with regards to rape-porn. I believe it is an actual genre. But as the (presumably adult) participants creating the (fictional) depiction of rape are cable of consenting to the activity, then the play-acting in itself is not illegal, even though it is depicting an illegal act. Not that I think it is healthy, but that's just my opinion. I do know that some porn actors have made statements to the effect that the recorded scenes were in fact non-consensual*. Which is a problem.

      Obviously people don't tend to consent to being murdered, or tortured, but Hollywood has no problem making entertainment media that contain scenes of both. So it is legal to depict illegal acts that are non-consensual. Usually, there is a moral justification for the good guys killing the bad guys, and the bad guys kill because they are, well, bad. This might explain why it is OK. I don't see a moral justification for sexual abuse of minors that can't consent, and therefore no moral justification for depictions of such abuse. If you could argue that looking at depictions of sexual abuse of minors would reduce the actual sexual abuse of minors, you might be able to make a moral justification for producing those images, but I think that is a pretty hard thing to demonstrate.

      *For example, Linda Lovelace, the actress in Deep Throat, made a statements to that effect [wikipedia.org]. Many others have made similar statements.

      • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Monday September 11 2023, @05:17PM

        by Opportunist (5545) on Monday September 11 2023, @05:17PM (#1324093)

        Fictional characters cannot consent nor not consent. They will do whatever their creator makes them do.

        Worse, fictional characters do not have to conform to reality altogether. This here is Ixi. Ixi is a fictional character I just created. Ixi looks like an 8 year old but she only looks it, actually she's 20 years old and thus an adult and can consent. Actually, she will consent to anything because that's how I created her, she's fictional and as such, she is whatever I make her.

        What now?

    • (Score: 2) by TheReaperD on Monday September 11 2023, @07:15AM

      by TheReaperD (5556) on Monday September 11 2023, @07:15AM (#1324037)

      In short, these days police organizations are against anything that would force cops away from their desk and can't be Hoovered up by the NSA. The police are rarely part of their communities anymore and the 'us vs them' mentality is rarely conducive to getting good information from people. This makes real, old-fashioned police work very, very difficult.

      --
      Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by khallow on Saturday September 09 2023, @12:14PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 09 2023, @12:14PM (#1323825) Journal

    So they like to have some opinions on these things because they will find this material intermixed with real abuse imagery too. I think this could make things difficult for prosecutors because until recently, all these imagery was caused by egregious child abuse.

    Also, consider this. We don't exist at the convenience of attorney generals. Just because something is difficult for them, doesn't mean we should make it easy for them.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by sjames on Saturday September 09 2023, @08:59PM

    by sjames (2882) on Saturday September 09 2023, @08:59PM (#1323910) Journal

    I suppose they could, if desperate enough, focus on finding people who are actually abusing children (with or without photographs). I would go so far as to say that would be the best thing for the children.