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Westfield Teens Accused of Creating Deep Fake Nudes

Irish Independent
Westfield High School

A student at Westfield High School has recently shared AI-generated pornographic photos of a number of female students, whose faces were photoshopped onto bodies that were not their own. Sophomore boys texted these photos to each other in group chats, however, one of these boys brought the incident to the principal, Mary Asfendis (Tap Into Westfield)

It was four days before the school discovered what the boys had done. Police have begun an investigation, however, they have no access to the photos, meaning they cannot trace the direct source. The photos are believed to have been deleted, and the students are no longer sharing them. The school has remained silent about whether the boys were punished, how many students were involved, and if the faculty has truly reviewed the images. It was also undetermined if what these boys did was illegal, as there was no federal law in place that disallowed the creation of these types of images (Ars Technica)

Ramapo senior Lindsey Morrison expressed, “As a female high school student I am disgusted and scared with the current state of the internet and AI. I hope to see real change with the invasion of privacy online.”

Francesca Mani was one of many girls involved. She was crying in the hallways once she discovered the pictures, and she noticed other girls crying as well. Her mother, Dorota Mani, is worried about the impact that artificial intelligence can have on kids. Both she and her daughter are seeking to advocate for laws to protect people from these deep fake images (CBS)

Congress has also brought up the idea of passing a bill that would make it illegal for anyone to share deepfake photos online without consent. This was passed by Representative Joe Morelle of New York (CBS)Unfortunately,” says Mr. Vander Molen, history and government teacher at Ramapo, “the use of generative AI – especially regarding deepfake images is extremely difficult to regulate and control.  The heinous acts that occurred in Westfield will most likely continue until real regulations with serious consequences are either legislated by Congress or ruled on by the Courts.  AI continues to influence our daily lives and is an amazing tool when used appropriately.  However, being the technology is so new and easily accessible, the government will continue to have a very difficult time regulating its use.”

Joe Biden has also spoken out on the issue. He signed an executive order focusing on AI-generated images that aimed to balance these prominent technological companies’ needs and protect consumer rights and national security. Biden realizes the effect that AI already has, and he plans to prevent this from further impacting children in the future (Ars Technica).

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