Attorney General Ford Joins Coalition Urging Congress to Study AI and its Harmful Effects on Children 

Sep. 5, 2023

Carson City, NV — Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced he has joined a bipartisan coalition of 54 attorneys general in urging Congress to study how artificial intelligence can and is being used to exploit children through child sexual abuse material and to propose legislation to protect children from those abuses. 

“As technology continues to shift and change, we must continuously take steps to ensure our protections grow along with it,” said AG Ford. “As the state’s top law enforcement officer, it is incumbent on me to take any steps I can to ensure our children are protected from dangerous or traumatic experiences. I am calling on Congress to determine how developing AI technologies are impacting and victimizing our nation’s children.”

The dangers of AI as relating to child sexual abuse material relates to three main categories: a real child’s likeness who has not been physically abused being digitally altered in a depiction of abuse; a real child who has been physically abused being digitally recreated in other depictions of abuse; and a child who does not even exist being digitally created in a depiction of abuse that feeds the market for child sexual abuse material.

    In the letter, the coalition of attorneys general write that AI has already begun to be used in the generation of child sexual abuse material. The attorney generals write: "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 child sexual abuse material involving the previously unharmed children.” 

    Attorney General Ford 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 child sexual abuse to explicitly cover AI-generated child sexual abuse.” 

    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.”

      The letter signed by AG Ford is led by the attorney general of South Carolina and co-sponsored by the attorneys general of Mississippi, North Carolina and Oregon. The letter’s other signatories are the attorneys general of 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, 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, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

      Read a copy of the letter.