"You’d never think one of your classmates would violate you like this."
After AI-generated nudes of teen girls began circulating in a New Jersey high school, neither parents, school officials nor even local law enforcement have been able to figure out how to deal with it.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, girls at a school in the affluent New York City suburb of Westfield learned weeks ago in October that AI-manipulated images of them were being shared in group chats by boys at their school. But thus far, there hasn't been much in the way of punishment — and it's still unclear who even made the fake nudes to begin with.
When reached by the WSJ, a spokesperson Westfield High School confirmed that the incident had taken place, but declined to name any students involved to protect confidentiality. In one email sent on October 20, school principal Mary Asfendis called the debacle a "very serious incident," and said that she believed the images had been deleted and were no longer in circulation.
The parents of the girls involved also took the situation to local police and even their state senator, but they don't seem to know what to do either. That's likely because, as the WSJ acknowledges, the dark side of AI — which now allows people to digitally "undress" unwitting subjects or create phony nudes of them with little more than an iPhone — has progressed much faster than the law.
Thus far, there are only a handful of states, including New York, that have enacted laws that ban the distribution of faked porn or give those portrayed in them the right to civil lawsuits. Both the White House and the state of New Jersey have in recent weeks announced the creation of AI task forces generally, but those are more exploratory in nature, and any laws stemming from them will take a long time to enact.
For the girls of Westfield, whose plight is jarringly similar to a situation that happened in Spain in September, it's unclear whether there will be any resolution and what it might look like. Some of them are uncomfortable with having to attend school with the people they suspect created and shared the images, who seem to have not yet faced any consequences.
"We’re aware that there are creepy guys out there," one of the victims said during a meeting of impacted girls and their parents that the WSJ was granted access to, "but you’d never think one of your classmates would violate you like this."
More on abusive AI: South Korea Sentences Man for Creating Child Abuse Images Using AI
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