Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares joined a coalition of attorneys general from 54 U.S. states and territories urging Congress to study how artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to create child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and to introduce legislation to make it easy to prosecute such crimes.
“AI use in the production of child sexual abuse materials is becoming increasingly prevalent. We are in a race against the clock to establish strong legal boundaries and protections that encompass artificial intelligence technologies and, more importantly, protect the safety and innocence of our children," Mr. Miyares said in a statement.
Mr. Miyares and the other attorneys general said they are deeply concerned for the safety of children in their respective states and territories.
“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,” the letter states.
Because AI-generated technology is advancing at a fast pace and laws have not been able to keep up, in June, Mr. Miyares led 23 state attorneys general in urging the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to advance artificial intelligence governance policies.
While some say AI-generated CSAM does not victimize real children, opponents argue that it does cause harm, because viewing child pornography often leads to the viewer abusing a child in real life.
Types of AI-Generated CSAMIn their letter, the attorneys general cite three types of AI-generated CSAM.
One type uses the likeness of a real child who has not been sexually abused but whose image is digitally altered to show depictions of abuse. A second type uses images of a child who was sexually abused, and these images are digitally recreated to show other forms of abuse. A third type uses images that are generated entirely by AI without the image of any real children.
The attorneys general are asking that all forms of AI-generated CSAM be illegal and that the crimes be easily prosecuted.
They are also asking Congress to create laws that “deter and address child exploitation, such as by expanding existing restrictions on CSAM to explicitly cover AI-generated CSAM.”
The nonprofit National Center for Missing and Exploited Children operates a centralized reporting system called CyberTipline, where people can submit incidents of online exploitation.