Tennessee Attorney General Urges Congress to Study AI and Its Harmful Effects on Children

Tuesday, September 05, 2023 | 02:43pm

Nashville – As part of a bipartisan 54-state and territory coalition, Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti joined a letter urging Congress to study how artificial intelligence (AI) can and is being used to exploit children through child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and to propose legislation to protect children from those abuses. 

“We should do all we can to research and understand AI’s impact, deter exploitation, and protect our children from any harmful effects of this technology,” said Skrmetti.  “We were not vigilant enough during the rise of social media and a generation of kids is paying the price.  We cannot afford to make the same mistake again.”

The letter states, “AI is also being used to generate child sexual abuse material (CSAM).  For example, 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 Skrmetti and 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 South Carolina led letter is co-sponsored in a bipartisan effort by Mississippi, North Carolina, and Oregon. Other states joining Tennessee include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia. Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisianna, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

You can read the full letter here.


#PR23-34:  Tennessee Attorney General Urges Congress to Study AI and it’s Harmful Effects on Children