Prosecutors ask Congress for help in ‘race against time’ to protect children from AI dangers

The attorneys general in all 50 states are calling on Congress to look into how artificial intelligence (AI) can exploit children through pornography and put forward legislation to address it. 

“We are engaged in a race against time to protect the children of our country from the dangers of AI,” the prosecutors wrote in a Tuesday letter to Congressional leadership. “Indeed, the proverbial walls of the city have already been breached. Now is the time to act.”

The top prosecutors sent the letter to ask lawmakers to “establish an expert commission to study the means and methods of AI that can be used to exploit children specifically.” The letter notes AI can be used to create child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and deepfakes that can exploit abused children.

“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 prosecutors wrote. “We also have a responsibility to hold accountable those who seek to harm children in our States and territories.”

“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,” they added.

They called on Congress to “act to deter and address child exploitation, such as by expanding existing restrictions on CSAM to explicitly cover AI-generated CSAM.”

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson (R) spearheaded the effort alongside attorneys general from Mississippi, North Carolina and Oregon to collect signatures from all 50 states and four territories, and he said keeping children safe from exploitation is his “top priority.”

“I’m the chief prosecutor of the state, but even more importantly, I’m a dad. Doing all I can to ensure children are safe and protected from exploitation is my top priority,” Wilson said in a statement.

“AI brings the potential for a lot of good, but also kicks open the door for a lot wrongdoing. We need to make sure children aren’t harmed as this technology becomes more widespread, and when Congress comes back from recess, we want this request to be one of the first things they see on their desks,” he added.

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