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Prosecutors from across the nation are urging Congress to take action against the growing use of artificial intelligence in child exploitation.

They are pushing for stronger laws to protect children from the harmful impact of AI technology, which could mean more serious consequences for people charged with a sex crime offense against a child.

Maryland’s stance on explicit AI-generated material

AI has risen as a way to create and distribute explicit material involving minors. This technology enables the digital manipulation of innocent images found online into criminal content involving children. Although fake, possessing or distributing this material is a violation of Maryland state law. The state’s stance is a response to the potential harm such materials can cause, including invasion of privacy, harassment and emotional distress to the individuals depicted in these fabricated images.

Potential criminal charges

Individuals found with illegal AI content can face various offenses, depending on the situation. These charges may include possession of explicit materials, distribution of harmful content or even cyberbullying if using the images to harass or intimidate others. Convictions can lead to fines, probation or imprisonment, depending on the severity of the charge.

The growing use of AI to create fake images adds to the complexity of sex crime charges. This modern technology makes it easier to get such content but also may factor into the 1.3% increase of child federal child pornography cases over the past four years. While every case is different, a conviction can affect a person for the rest of their life.