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California bill would criminalize AI-generated porn without consent

A California lawmaker introduced legislation that would criminalize using artificial intelligence to create pornography while using a person’s likeness without consent.

Assembly member Tri Ta, a Republican representing Westminster, California, introduced the legislation in February that aims to punish people up to $1,000, or a year in jail, if they distribute “deepfake” porn depicting an individual without their consent.

“This bill would make it a crime for a person to knowingly, and without the consent of the depicted individual, distribute to, exhibit to, or exchange with others, or offer to distribute to, exhibit to, or exchange with others audio or visual media that falsely depicts an individual engaging in sexual conduct that would appear to a reasonable observer to be an authentic record of the conduct. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program,” a legislative council’s digest of the bill states.

Ta told the Orange County Register that the bill, if passed, will help individuals “protect their lives” as AI technology grows at a rapid pace.

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State lawmaker Tri Ta, a Republican representing Westminster, Calif., introduced the legislation in February that aims to punish people up to $1,000 or a year in jail if they distribute "deepfake" porn depicting an individual without their consent.

State lawmaker Tri Ta, a Republican representing Westminster, Calif., introduced the legislation in February that aims to punish people up to $1,000 or a year in jail if they distribute “deepfake” porn depicting an individual without their consent. (Tri Ta/Facebook)

Just in the past few months, Ta said that his office has received several complaints related to AI images depicting individuals being shared non-consensually.

“As with any new innovative technology, artificial intelligence can improve people’s lives,” Ta said. “However, AI can be, and has been, weaponized to inflict harm.”

According to the report, the bill is scheduled to be brought up during the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee taking place next week.

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A Republican lawmaker from California introduced legislation in February that aims to punish people up to $1,000 or a year in jail if they distribute "deepfake" porn depicting an individual without their consent.

A Republican lawmaker from California introduced legislation in February that aims to punish people up to $1,000 or a year in jail if they distribute “deepfake” porn depicting an individual without their consent. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration, File)

Currently, according to the legislative digest, existing law makes it a crime “to distribute intimate images of another person, as specified, that were intended to remain private, and that results in the serious emotional distress of the person depicted.”

Ta said on Facebook that existing law needs to be updated to keep pace with technology.

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OpenAI Dall.E 2

OpenAI Dall.E 2 (Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images, File)

“We must protect Californians and update our laws to keep up with this fast emerging technology,” Ta said.

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