CHARLESTON — As part of a bipartisan 54-state and territory coalition, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey 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.
“Child predators are hiding behind AI and ‘deepfakes’ to fulfill and perpetuate their perverted and violent interest in children,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “AI is harming children, both victims of abuse as well as those who are harming children. We must put a stop to this.”
“We must protect our children from predators who use their likeness for sinister purposes. Congress should do the right thing to stop the exploitation of children.”
“AI is also being used to generate child sexual abuse material. 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,” the coalition wrote in the letter. “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 Morrisey 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.”
“We are engaged in a race against time to protect the children of our country from the dangers of AI,” the coalition wrote. “Indeed, the proverbial walls of the city have already been breached. Now is the time to act.”
West Virginia joined the South Carolina-, Mississippi-, North Carolina-, and Oregon-led letter along with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the 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 Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.