At least this guy will be behind bars.

Prison Time

While courts start to grapple with the dark side of generative artificial intelligence, a South Korean judge has for the first time in that country's history sent down a sentence related to AI-generated child abuse images.

As CNN reports, an unnamed man in his 40s was sentenced to two-plus years in prison after being caught with about 360 exploitative AI-generated images of children earlier this year. Those disgusting images, which were thankfully not described, were reportedly not distributed.

Prosecutors successfully argued before the Busan-region court that the country's definition of "sexually exploitative material" should, in the face of AI advancements, be expanded to include imagery or descriptions of "virtual humans" engaging in sexual acts.

Deepfakes of Yore

Though this appears to be the first time South Korea has had a ruling related to AI-generated explicit imagery, which in the past were often referred to as "deepfakes," it's not the country's first foray into controversy surrounding the rapidly-accelerating technology.

As the country's Yonhap news agency reported, the beginning of 2021 saw hundreds of thousands of people signing an anonymously-written petition begging the South Korean government to enact stricter punishment for sites that post deepfake porn featuring celebrities, including some that are minors.

The South China Morning Post added that the petition appeared online after some secretly-captured "spycam" photos of a K-pop girl group member were manipulated and published online.

"Videos featuring the victimized female celebrities are distributed on various social network services, and (they) are tortured with malicious comments of a sexually harassing and insulting nature," read the petition, per Yonhap, adding that deepfakes are "undeniably a sexual crime."

Within a day, Yonhap reported, the petition gained more than 330,000 signatures, the news wire reported, highlighting how seriously some in the country took deepfakes.

Though it's been more than two and a half years since the petition arose, South Korea appears poised to start taking threats from the tech seriously — and the rest of the world, including the US, may soon follow suit.

More on AI: Parents Furious After Deepfaked Nudes of Daughters Circulate Around Schools

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