One New Jersey mother is fighting to change laws regarding Artificial Intelligence (AI), after her daughter’s face was used to generate a fake nude image and reportedly circulated among her classmates.
Dorota Mani says her 14-year-old daughter Francesca was one of several female students at Westfield High, N.J., whose photo was used by another classmate to create the pornographic images using AI. While the girls and the school were made aware of the incident in October, the images were shared last summer. Mani told Fox News Digital that she filed a police report and has been in contact with Westfield High over the incident. As a fellow educator, Mani expressed being dissatisfied with the way her daughter’s school handled the situation, saying it was, “at best, incompetent.”
However, the New Jersey mom said she is done “crying” about it and is ready to take proactive steps to protect other victims of AI abuse. She has taken her daughter’s story to New Jersey’s Republican state Sen. Jon Bramnick, and to U.S. Rep. Tom Kean, R-N.J., to get legislation regulating AI passed at the state and federal level.
Sen. Bramnick told Fox News Digital he is working on a bill with Republican State Sen. Kristin M. Corrado to create penalties for deepfake pornography, which he calls, a “serious breach of the law.”
The legislation would make it a “significant crime” to take people’s faces and attach pornographic images to them. Bramnick said these types of images are “almost as bad as child pornography.”
“What you’re doing is you’re taking a child’s face and putting it on a naked body. That will be a serious offense in New Jersey when our legislation passes,” he said.
Fracesca Mani is also trying to make a difference in the midst of the ugly incident. She developed an informational webpage on deepfakes that guides parents and children on how to protect and advocate for themselves, if their image is used by this technology. The teen also wrote a letter to President Biden asking him to gather support for governors from all 50 states to pass AI legislation that would protect children’s photos from being used inappropriately.
Westfield Schools previously told Fox News Digital that the Westfield High principal sent a letter home to parents, provided counseling for students, and notified the Westfield Police Department and school resource officer when made aware of the incident in October.
Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Raymond González also provided the following statement to Fox News Digital:
“All school districts are grappling with the challenges and impact of Artificial Intelligence and other technology available to students at any time and anywhere. The Westfield Public School District has safeguards in place to prevent this from happening on our network and school-issued devices. We continue to strengthen our efforts by educating our students and establishing clear guidelines to ensure that these new technologies are used responsibly in our schools and beyond.”
As AI continues to rapidly evolve, the top law enforcement officials from all 50 states are urging Congress to establish a commission to study how AI is being used to exploit children, and expand existing restrictions on child sexual abuse materials specifically to cover AI-generated images, the Associated Press reported.
Dorota Mani said these types of AI incidents are happening all over the globe. She’s been speaking to people in Texas, Wisconsin, and even as far away as Paris and Japan who’ve been dealing with similar AI incidents.
“It’s happening all over. It’s just the victims are being shamed and portrayed as… crying, poor, helpless. And I think this is my platform to change it,” she said.
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