The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has issued a stern warning about the growing threat of AI-generated child abuse imagery, making it increasingly difficult to identify real children at risk.
Law enforcement agencies are seriously concerned about the emergence of hyper-realistic AI-generated content that could blur the line between real and computer-generated victims, creating complex challenges in identifying children at risk.
NCA Executive Director Graham Bigger has stressed that the prevalence of such content could normalize abuse and increase the risk of offenders moving toward harming real children.
These alarming developments are prompting talks with AI software companies to implement security measures, such as digital tags to identify AI-generated images.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been asked to address the surge in child abuse images created by artificial intelligence when he gathers world leaders to discuss artificial intelligence later this year.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which monitors and blocks such content online, said the prime minister should specifically outlaw AI-generated abuse images and pressure other countries to do the same.
IWF Chief Executive Susie Hargreaves said: “AI is getting more sophisticated all the time.
Not a victimless crime
Hargreaves’ comments come amid the first acknowledgment that the IWF is removing instances of AI-generated child abuse imagery, including the most serious “Category A” illegal material.
Despite the lack of actual victims in these disturbing images, the IWF contends that the creation and distribution of AI-generated child abuse content is far from a victimless crime. Instead, it poses a serious risk of normalizing abuse, hindering the identification of real cases of child endangerment, and desensitizing the gravity of criminal conduct.
Even more alarming, the IWF has discovered a gruesome “manual” created by criminals that instructs others how to use AI to create more realistic abusive images.
The NCA said the surge in fake child abuse images could make it even more difficult to save real children suffering from abuse.
Chris Farrimond of the NCA said, “It is very real that the increased amount of AI-generated material will have a significant impact on law enforcement resources and increase the time it takes to identify the actual children in need of protection.”
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https://cathnews.co.nz/2023/07/20/ai-generated-child-abuse-images-raise-alarms-challenging-identification-of-real-victims/ AI-generated child abuse imagery blurs the line between real and virtual victims