Calls for Legislation Increase as Celebrities Become Deepfake Targets

(IntegrityPress.org) – Deepfakes of Taylor Swift engaged in sexual acts have prompted calls from some US lawmakers to criminalize the use of artificial intelligence to produce synthetic explicit images.

One of the fake images of Swift had 47 million views at the time it was removed from X (Twitter). They originated from Telegram channels where anonymous individuals can upload and trade content while having their identity protected by the application.

X representatives said that they’re taking down all the fake porn and “taking appropriate actions” on the accounts responsible for posting them to X.

New York congresswoman Yvette D Clarke said that the attacks on Swift weren’t new, but that AI technology has made the production of these images easier and faster than ever before. She suggested that a bipartisan solution could be on the table.

Last year, Rep. Joseph Morelle (D-NY) sponsored the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act, which made it illegal to produce and distribute deepfaked pornography without the consent of the individual. Morelle pointed out that such content could easily cause reputational damage. The bill has yet to get a proper airing in Congress.

Morelle suggested that deepfaked pornography of Swift was “sexual exploitation” in comments posted to X. Rep. Thomas Kean Jr (R-NJ) is a cosponsor of the bill and he suggested that the evolution of AI tech was proceeding faster than any legislative “guardrails.” Kean has also introduced his own legislation on the subject of AI-generated images and other AI systems that would require their content to be clearly labeled as such. Kean’s bill would also require chatbots that use AI to disclose they are not real people.

Many celebrities have been impacted by the advent of deepfaked images including Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Drake, and the Weeknd. Tom Hanks’ likeness was ripped off and featured in an advertisement for dental insurance.

Scarlett Johansson spoke about being the victim of deepfaked pornography in 2018. She suggested that she’s experienced this phenomenon “many, many times,” and suggested it was “a lost cause” trying to police the internet’s depravity.

Deepfake pornography was outlawed in the UK in 2022, and included a variety of explicit imagery that featured non-consenting victims.

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