March 27, 2024
34 U.S. states sue Meta, alleging AI-driven harm to minors on Facebook/Instagram.

34 U.S. States Sue Meta Over Alleged Manipulation of Minors Amid AI Advancements

A coalition of 34 U.S. states is bringing a lawsuit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, on allegations of improper manipulation of minors on their platforms. This legal action comes in the midst of rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), specifically in the realms of text and generative AI.

Legal representatives from several states, including California, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia, and Louisiana, claim that Meta employs its algorithms to promote addictive behaviors and harm the mental well-being of children through in-app features, such as the Like button.

Despite recent comments from Meta’s chief AI scientist suggesting that concerns about the existential risks of AI technology are premature and that Meta has already used AI to address trust and safety issues on its platforms, government litigants are pushing forward with their legal actions. Attorneys representing the states are seeking varying damages, restitution, and compensation, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 per alleged incident.

In the United Kingdom, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has expressed concerns about the alarming increase in AI-generated child sexual abuse material (CSAM). In a recent report, the IWF disclosed the discovery of over 20,254 AI-generated CSAM images in a single dark web forum within a single month. The organization warned that this surge in disturbing content has the potential to inundate the internet.

The IWF is advocating for international collaboration to combat the problem of CSAM, proposing a multifaceted approach that includes adjustments to existing laws, improved education for law enforcement, and regulatory oversight of AI models. Regarding AI developers, the IWF recommends a prohibition on AI-generated child abuse content, excluding associated models, and focusing on removing such material from their models.

The advancement of AI image generators has greatly enhanced the ability to create lifelike human replicas. Platforms like Midjourney, Runway, Stable Diffusion, and OpenAI’s Dall-E are prominent examples of tools capable of generating realistic images.

Image by pixabay

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