The new bill aims to stop the spread of child pornography generated by artificial intelligence in Ohio


State lawmakers are looking to protect children from ill-intentioned artificial intelligence (AI) users with new legislation.

Senate Bill 217, recently introduced in the state Senate, targets the spread of child pornography generated by artificial intelligence, according to Ohio’s attorney general. Dave Yostoffice.

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“Child pornography has long been banned in Ohio, but the unchecked rise of artificial intelligence has created a gray area for predators to feed their sick fantasies,” Yost said. “We need to act quickly to protect Ohio’s children by expanding existing child pornography laws to include artificial intelligence.”

According to Yost’s office, SB 217 would:

  • Makes the creation or distribution of “counterfeit obscene material” a third-degree felony, including the depiction of minors. Purchasing or possessing such substances would be a felony of the fourth degree.

  • Requiring AI-generated content to include a distinctive watermark, ensuring viewers are able to distinguish between real and synthetic material. Removing the watermark can result in civil action from a prosecutor or private citizens.

  • Mandating online platforms and other content hosts to remove AI-generated child pornography within 24 hours of being contacted by the Attorney General. A civil penalty of up to $1,000 per day can be imposed on those who fail to remove the material.

  • Criminalizing the unauthorized use of altered or fabricated copies of a person’s voice or likeness for harmful purposes.

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