September 5, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Albuquerque, NM – As part of a bipartisan 54-state and territory coalition, Attorney General Raúl Torrez joined a letter urging Congress to study how artificial intelligence (AI) can be and is being used to exploit children through a variety of methods, including child sexual abuse material (CSAM), and to propose legislation to protect children from those abuses.
“In this ever-evolving landscape of technology, it is up to leaders in state and federal government to place protections around sophisticated technology to ensure that the digital world is a safe space for children to learn and create,” said AG Torrez. “Today’s letter urges Congress to focus specifically on safeguarding children in a world where artificial intelligence is increasingly prevalent and harmful to our youth. I will remain a voice for the voiceless, and today’s effort is another example of my commitment to protecting our children.”
The scope and danger of CSAM have expanded through AI in three main areas: digitally altering the likenesses of real children who have not been physically abused in depictions of abuse, digitally recreating images of real children who have been physically abused in other depictions of abuse, and digitally creating depictions of abuse for children who do not exist, feeding the market for CSAM.
The letter states that “AI tools can rapidly and easily create ‘deepfakes’ by studying real photographs of abused children to generate new images showing those children in sexual positions. This involves overlaying the face of one person on the body of another. Deepfakes can also be generated by overlaying photographs of otherwise unvictimized children on the internet with photographs of abused children to create new CSAM involving the previously unharmed children.”
Attorney General Torrez and the rest of the coalition ask Congress to form a commission to study specifically how AI can be used to exploit children and to “act to deter and address child exploitation, such as by expanding existing restrictions on CSAM to explicitly cover AI-generated CSAM.”
The letter continues, “We are engaged in a race against time to protect the children of our country from the dangers of AI. Indeed, the proverbial walls of the city have already been breached. Now is the time to act.”
Besides New Mexico, the letter is co-sponsored in a bipartisan effort by Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Oregon. They are also joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia. Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.