In Short

Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum asks Congress to protect children from artificial intelligence

By: - September 5, 2023 11:06 am
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wants Congress to protect children from artificial intelligence. (Courtesy of Ellen Rosenblum)

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is leading a 50-state request for Congress to study how artificial intelligence can exploit children and pass laws to prevent those harms. 

Rosenblum on Tuesday released a letter asking Congress to appoint a commission to identify how artificial intelligence can harm children through the creation of AI-generated child sexual abuse materials and then pass laws based on those findings. Attorneys general of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories signed the letter.

“We’re at a critical moment,” Rosenblum said in a statement. “By means of smart, pragmatic regulation, we can keep kids safe from AI’s potential dangers. Congress needs to take the lead, and the outpouring of support from attorneys general across our country and its territories demonstrates we are ready to support this work however we can.”

The letter gives disturbing examples of how artificial intelligence already is being used to generate child sexual abuse material.

“We are engaged in a race against time,” the letter states, “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.”            

For example, the technology can mimic a child’s voice, or generate deepfakes – embellished images that appear realistic but are not. As a result, children who have directly experienced physical abuse themselves remain vulnerable to crimes that can put their fake images online, the letter said.

Other crimes are possible, such as a kidnapping scam that uses an AI-generated voice to make a parent think their child has been kidnapped, the letter said.


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Ben Botkin
Ben Botkin

Ben Botkin covers justice, health and social services issues for the Oregon Capital Chronicle. Ben Botkin has been a reporter since 2003, when he drove from his Midwest locale to Idaho for his first journalism job. He has written extensively about politics and state agencies in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon. Most recently, he covered health care and the Oregon Legislature for The Lund Report. Botkin has won multiple journalism awards for his investigative and enterprise reporting, including on education, state budgets and criminal justice.