Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

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.


Original Submission

 
This discussion was created by hubie (1068) for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by pTamok on Saturday September 09 2023, @11:40AM (9 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Saturday September 09 2023, @11:40AM (#1323821)

    A problem with allowing AI-generated images is that it allows people who make an use images of real minors being abused to claim that they believed the images are 'just' generated by a really good AI.

    As for finding the victims, there is a real problem of young children being kidnapped, or sold, to be exploited by abuse. Many people think it 'just' happens in underdeveloped countries and victims are smuggled across national borders - but statistics from 2015 how that around 45% of child sexual abuse victims identified in Germany were moved from one region to another within Germany (See: https://www.gov.uk/research-for-development-outputs/data-on-child-trafficking [www.gov.uk] for the reference). Once you have a victim, all you need to do is murder them and dispose of the body once they get too old or damaged to be used further. Then the victim cannot be found. It happens. It is sickening, but it happens.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_(murder_victim) [wikipedia.org]

    Mo Farah, the British Olympic medal winning runner, was trafficked from Djibouti: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mo_Farah#Family_and_interests [wikipedia.org]

    https://www.ecpat.org.uk/child-trafficking-statistics [ecpat.org.uk]
    https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/types-of-abuse/child-trafficking/ [nspcc.org.uk]
    https://www.gov.uk/research-for-development-outputs/data-on-child-trafficking [www.gov.uk]
    BBC: The bleak world of trafficked children and modern slavery [bbc.com]
    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/childvictimsofmodernslaveryintheuk/march2022 [ons.gov.uk]

    Much as generation of artificial images of abuse of minors could be regarded as victimless, it could allow actual perpetrators to claim plausible deniability. I'm definitely not comfortable with that.

    On the other hand, if the availability of artificial images could be shown to decrease exploitation (I can't think of any ethical way of doing this, mind you) then perhaps you could argue that it is reasonable on a 'harm reduction' basis.

    The people who 'only' look at images and don't do anything to minors themselves still provide a market for those who exploit and abuse minors to make the images.

    I think the people who work in this area do a difficult job. And one of the problems is that it attracts the very people who you are trying to guard against:
    BBC: Peterborough detective in sex abuse unit jailed over images [bbc.com]
    BBC: Greater Manchester Police officer jailed for child sex abuse offences [bbc.com]
    BBC: Former Humberside Police officer jailed for online child sex abuse [bbc.com]
    BBC: Ex-officer jailed over sex abuse [bbc.co.uk]

    If you look at media reports ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/search?q=sex+abuse+jailed [bbc.co.uk] ), you also see that many cases involve people who are in a position of trust. In the past, people made jokes about not leaving a choirboy alone with the vicar. These days, it is slightly more likely the vicar will be prosecuted, so progress has been made. But it is slow.

    I really don't understand people who want to abuse minors in this way. If AI can be used to reduce such abuse, that would be great, but right now, I don't see how.

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +3  
       Interesting=2, Informative=1, Total=3
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   4  
  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday September 09 2023, @12:32PM (7 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 09 2023, @12:32PM (#1323828) Journal
    A key question here is how many are affected? Your first link refuses to provide an estimate of regional child trafficking, instead merely posting a single global estimate. And given that the UK mentions a mere 5k suspected child trafficking incidents (which may be multiple counting over a smaller number of children), that indicates to me that the problem might not be as pressing as claimed.

    If AI can be used to reduce such abuse, that would be great, but right now, I don't see how.

    As a legal outlet for such sexual desires?

    • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Saturday September 09 2023, @12:58PM

      by pTamok (3042) on Saturday September 09 2023, @12:58PM (#1323836)

      This link goes into more detail with regard to the UK, and has a section on the (poor) data quality.

      https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/childvictimsofmodernslaveryintheuk/march2022#measuring-the-data [ons.gov.uk]

      Recording of slavery and sexual abuse is different across jurisdictions. The UK, counter-intuitively, looks like a major source of child-trafficking victims in international statistics, but that is probably because the detection and recording mechanisms are better than than in other countries. If you don't look for, or record, crimes, then your crime statistics will be fabulous!

      As I pointed out, if AI-generated images can be used as plausible deniability such that a user of non-artificial images believed the images to be artificially generated, we have a problem. A producer of illegal images can simply run them though an AI to add the AI watermark. A legal outlet sounds like a sensible idea, except that you cannot guarantee that illegal images will not be mixed into the collection.

      How do you prevent counterfeit artificial images produced by abusing real minors from being mixed in with all the proposed legal artificial ones? A guaranteed government cryptographic signature for each image, testifying that it is genuinely artificial?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Saturday September 09 2023, @02:38PM (5 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 09 2023, @02:38PM (#1323859) Journal

      that indicates to me that the problem might not be as pressing as claimed.

      With that, you help to illustrate the slippery slope thing.

      As a parent and a grandparent, and as a former Boy Scout and Girls Scout leader, I want to say that a single case of child sexual abuse is a pressing problem. A large part of who I am says that you can't possibly get too draconian with efforts to track down, prosecute, and execute child traffikers.

      At the bottom of that slope, you'll find a hell on earth as bad as those enslaved children already live in.

      --
      ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
      • (Score: 2, Disagree) by maxwell demon on Saturday September 09 2023, @05:31PM (1 child)

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday September 09 2023, @05:31PM (#1323880) Journal

        A large part of who I am says that you can't possibly get too draconian with efforts to track down, prosecute, and execute child traffikers.

        So you would totally welcome an Orwellian state if it helps with that goal?

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday September 09 2023, @06:11PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 09 2023, @06:11PM (#1323887) Journal

          totally welcome

          Perhaps you should read my post again, in it's entirety. That Orwellian bit looks attractive, if it would achieve the desired goal, until you stop to think of all the other ways said Orwellian state would affect you. Slippery slope and all that.

          --
          ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
      • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Saturday September 09 2023, @06:18PM

        by pTamok (3042) on Saturday September 09 2023, @06:18PM (#1323889)

        A large part of who I am says that you can't possibly get too draconian with efforts to track down, prosecute, and execute child traffikers.

        I'm afraid you lost me in two places there. It is possible to be too draconian, and I'm not in favour of capital punishment. I understand the sentiment, but I'm not in agreement.

        I would like some way in which people who are incarcerated for long sentences to provide enough value to cover the costs of their incarceration, because keeping people in prison is expensive and should be used as a last resort. Rehabilitation is usually the better option, but some people are very resistant to rehabilitation, unfortunately,

      • (Score: 2) by khallow on Saturday September 09 2023, @11:31PM (1 child)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 09 2023, @11:31PM (#1323917) Journal

        As a parent and a grandparent, and as a former Boy Scout and Girls Scout leader, I want to say that a single case of child sexual abuse is a pressing problem. A large part of who I am says that you can't possibly get too draconian with efforts to track down, prosecute, and execute child traffikers.

        And yet, here we are already getting too draconian. The fake porn activity in question is harmless, it just might hide something bad hypothetically. The problem is that you go from prosecuting child traffickers to prosecuting people who have nothing to do with the trafficking - not even buying economic products of the trafficking.

        • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Runaway1956 on Saturday September 09 2023, @11:55PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 09 2023, @11:55PM (#1323918) Journal

          Correct. Case in point: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/teen-sexting-case-revealed-how-judges-let-police-invade-children-ncna830306 [nbcnews.com]

          A teen sexting case revealed how judges let police invade children's privacy
          The overcriminalization of personal behavior and qualified immunity for officers is a dangerous mix.

          Whether the police have the right to force your teenage son to masturbate in front of them in order to incriminate himself is a legal question few parents would think they’d have to consider.

          And yet Trey Sims’ legal guardians had to do exactly that. In an effort to prosecute the 17-year-old for sexting his 15-year-old girlfriend, Manassas police detective David Abbott obtained a search warrant authorizing him to take “photographs of [Sims’] genitals,” including “a photograph of the suspect’s erect penis.” According to court documents, in the process of executing the search warrant, Abbott took the teenager to a juvenile detention center, took him to a locker room and, with two uniformed, armed officers looking on, ordered Sims to pull down his pants.

          After taking pictures with his cell phone of the teenager’s genitals, Abbot then ordered the minor to masturbate so that he could take a picture of his erection. Sims tried but failed to comply with the officer’s orders; Abbott later threatened Sims’ lawyer that, if police couldn’t get a picture of the teenager’s erection by forcing the kid to masturbate, he would obtain a photo of the teenager’s engorged genitals by subjecting him to “an erection-producing injection” at a hospital.

          Now that's draconian.

          --
          ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
  • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Monday September 11 2023, @05:05PM

    by Opportunist (5545) on Monday September 11 2023, @05:05PM (#1324090)

    So... we better start prosecuting movie studios because I thought that the action movies where a bunch of people get gunned down are "just generated by some movie director"?

    How exactly is that different?