Attorney General Mayes Urges Congress to Study AI and its Harmful Effects on Children 

PHOENIX – As part of a bipartisan coalition, Attorney General Kris Mayes today sent a letter urging Congress to study how artificial intelligence (AI) can and is being used to exploit children through child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and to propose legislation to protect children from those abuses.  

“While the rapidly evolving technology of artificial intelligence represents significant potential for society, there is also the potential for serious harm – most importantly to children,” said Attorney General Mayes. “I am deeply concerned about the impact this technology could have and I urge Congress to work with speed and urgency on this issue to prevent the exploitation and abuse of children.”  

The letter states, “AI is also being used to generate child sexual abuse material (CSAM).  For example, AI tools can rapidly and easily create 'deepfakes' by studying real photographs of abused children to generate new images showing those children in sexual positions. This involves overlaying the face of one person on the body of another. Deepfakes can also be generated by overlaying photographs of otherwise unvictimized children on the internet with photographs of abused children to create new CSAM involving the previously unharmed children.”  

Attorney General Mayes and the coalition ask Congress to form a commission to study specifically how AI can be used to exploit children and to “act to deter and address child exploitation, such as by expanding existing restrictions on CSAM to explicitly cover AI-generated CSAM.”  

The letter continues, “We are engaged in a race against time to protect the children of our country from the dangers of AI. Indeed, the proverbial walls of the city have already been breached. Now is the time to act.”  

Besides Arizona, the South Carolina led letter is co-sponsored in a bipartisan effort by Mississippi, North Carolina, and Oregon. They are also joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia. Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.