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Meta faces legal scrutiny as AI advancements raise concerns over child safety


A group of 34 American states is filing a lawsuit against the social media behemoth, Meta, accusing Facebook and Instagram of engaging in improper manipulation of the minors who utilize these platforms. This development comes amid rapid artificial intelligence (AI) advancements involving both text and generative AI.

Legal representatives from various states, including California, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia, and Louisiana, allege that Meta utilizes its algorithms to foster addictive behavior and negatively impact the mental well-being of children through features like the “Like” button.

According to a recent report, The chief AI scientist at Meta has spoken out, reportedly saying that worries over the existential risks of the technology are still “premature”. Meta has already harnessed AI to address trust and safety issues on its platforms. Nevertheless, the government litigants are proceeding with legal action.

Screenshot of the filing.    Source: CourtListener

The attorneys for the states are seeking different amounts of damages, restitution, and compensation for each state mentioned in the document, with figures ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 per purported occurrence. Cointelegraph has reached out to Meta for more information but is yet to get feedback at the time of publication.

Meanwhile, the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has raised concerns about the alarming proliferation of AI-generated child sexual abuse material (CSAM). In a recent report, the IWF revealed the discovery of more than 20,254 AI-generated CSAM images within a single dark web forum in just a month, warning that this surge in disturbing content has the potential to inundate the internet.

The UK organization urged global cooperation to combat the issue of CSAM, suggesting a multifaceted strategy. This entails adjustments to existing laws, enhancements in law enforcement education, and the implementation of regulatory supervision for AI models.

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In the context of AI developers, the IWF advises the prohibition of their AI for generating child abuse content, the exclusion of associated models, and a focus on removing such material from their models.

The advancement of generative AI image generators has significantly improved the creation of lifelike human replicas. Platforms such as Midjourney, Runway, Stable Diffusion, and OpenAI’s Dall-E are examples of tools capable of generating realistic images.

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