POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Proposed bill targets pornographic images generated by AI

Jan 11, 2024, 11:09 AM | Updated: 2:09 pm

A gavel sits atop a sheet of paper....

Utah lawmakers are considering several digital privacy bills this legislative session. One new bill would add pornographic images generated by artificial intelligence to the state’s Sexual Exploitation Act. (Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are considering several digital privacy bills this legislative session. One new bill would add pornographic images generated by artificial intelligence, or AI, to the state’s Sexual Exploitation Act.

Rep. Stephanie Gricius, R-Salt Lake City, is sponsoring the bill. Gricius hopes to make sure the state has some legal guidance in case someone uses AI to create these images.

“Back when this statute was originally put together, we didn’t have this AI technology the way we do now,” said Gricius. “… should the issue come up, we have a law and we have some guidance on that. And we can protect people from becoming victims hopefully and get justice for those who we can’t protect up front,” the lawmaker added. 

Staying ahead of artificial intelligence

Gricius said the so-called deep-fake computer-generated images are already illegal in the state of Utah. However, the bill attempts to get ahead of AI technology.

Some people may think that there are no victims when using AI, but representative Gricius said that is incorrect, especially when it comes to children’s images.

“Child sexual abuse material is very, very serious. Children are the most vulnerable. They’re also our future and we really need to get out in front of that,” said Gricius. 

The challenge with AI images

According to Gricius, AI is challenging because it is rapidly evolving.

“It really does it does a lot of damage. But with AI, it’s not fully creating new images. It’s pulling bits and pieces of images and data that have been put into it. So, even though you may be mixing and matching body parts and various things, these are still real pictures that are coming from real people,” Gricius said.

As technology moves forward and advances, Gricius said she wants to make sure everything is covered under the law. 

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Proposed bill targets pornographic images generated by AI