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Deepfake porn bill proposed amid Taylor Swift controversy

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Legislators in the United States have swiftly introduced a new bill to combat nonconsensual AI-generated porn, prompted by the recent uproar over the circulation of fake explicit images of Taylor Swift on the X platform.

A press release from the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary has outlined the specifics of the proposed law, which would enable individuals to take legal action against fake sexual images.

The bill, known as the Disrupt Explicit Forged Images and Non-Consensual Edits (DEFIANCE) Act, would establish a legal remedy for victims of explicit “digital forgeries” portraying a recognizable person without their consent. This would empower victims to seek financial compensation from individuals who deliberately created or possessed the images with the intent to distribute them.

The statement expressed alarm at the rapid proliferation of “deepfake” content due to the widespread availability of AI technology. Notably, a significant amount of this content is sexually explicit, with a study from 2019 revealing that 96% of deepfakes constituted nonconsensual pornography.

Increasing Concerns Stemming from Taylor Swift Incident and Deepfakes

The widespread attention surrounding the unauthorized use of American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s image underscores the seriousness of this issue. While the circulation of such content is concerning, the high-profile nature of Taylor Swift may have expedited legislative action on the matter.

Key figures on the Committee include U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, as well as US Senators Lindsey Graham, Amy Klobuchar, and Josh Hawley.

Commenting on the proposed legislation, Durbin stated, “Although the imagery may be fake, the harm to the victims from the distribution of sexually explicit ‘deepfakes’ is very real. Victims have lost their jobs, and they may suffer ongoing depression or anxiety.”

“Through this legislation, we aim to empower victims, combat the dissemination of ‘deepfake’ images, and hold those accountable for creating and distributing such images.”

Since the emergence of the term “deepfake” in 2017, AI-manipulated pornographic images have surged in popularity, sophistication, and frequency.

Moreover, there are concerns about AI’s impact on democratic processes, exemplified by ChatGPT’s recent ban of a bot impersonating a US Presidential candidate.

Featured image: Dall-E

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