New Jersey High School girls ‘humiliated’ after classmates use AI to generate fake nude images: report
Parents of girls at a New Jersey high school said their daughters were humiliated after they learned fake pornographic images of themselves generated with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), were circulated among classmates.
Female students at Westfield High, NJ, learned about the images after observing sophomore boys whispering and acting “weird” on October 16, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A few days later, one boy confessed to some of the girls that at least one student had used real photos, found on social media, to generate fake nude images of the female classmates through an AI website. The student then reportedly shared these images with other male students in a group text. The girls reported the incident to Westfield High administration and the school investigated the issue, according to the WSJ.
Westfield Schools told Fox News Digital that it could not provide specific details on the number of students involved or disciplinary actions taken due to confidentiality. The district said the incident happened over the summer, but administration was made aware on October 20. The Westfield Police Department and School Resource Officer were notified and consulted, and counseling was provided to students, they added.
Westfield High School Principal Mary Asfendis, also sent an email to parents on October 20, calling the incident, “very serious.” The principal said she believed the images had been deleted and were not being circulated. She urged parents to partner with the school in teaching students how to responsibly use technology and discuss its impact on others.
Some parents were upset by how the school is handling the situation. One mother told Tap Into Westfield, a local news outlet, that the school had not done enough to protect the female students because the boy who created the images was still allowed at school. She also demanded the school implement a new AI policy to protect future students from this sort of exploitation.
Four parents also filed police reports, and told the WSJ they had not seen the images.
The situation has left some girls feeling “humiliated and powerless,” the outlet reported.
Westfield High parent Dorota Mani said she feared what impact the fake image could have on her daughter’s future.
“I am terrified by how this is going to surface and when. My daughter has a bright future and no one can guarantee this won’t impact her professionally, academically or socially,” Mani told the outlet.
Her daughter said that some of her female classmates decided to delete their social media accounts or take a more cautionary approach to what they post, because of the incident.
Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Raymond González provided the following statement to Fox News Digital:
“All school districts are grappling with the challenges and impact of Artificial Intelligence and other technology available to students at any time and anywhere. The Westfield Public School District has safeguards in place to prevent this from happening on our network and school-issued devices. We continue to strengthen our efforts by educating our students and establishing clear guidelines to ensure that these new technologies are used responsibly in our schools and beyond.”
As AI continues to rapidly evolve, attorneys general from all 50 states sent a letter to Congress in September, urging legislators to “establish an expert commission to study the means and methods of AI that can be used to exploit children specifically,” and expand existing restrictions on child sexual abuse materials specifically to cover AI-generated images, the Associated Press reported.
President Biden also signed a “landmark” AI executive order this week, requiring companies to conduct safety testing and share national security concerns with the federal government.
Digital safety expert Yaron Litwin previously told Fox News Digital that the advancement of AI has allowed a rise in child pornography and blackmail attempts by criminals determined to exploit kids and teenagers. Their techniques can involve editing a genuine photograph of a fully dressed teenager and turning it into a nude image, he said.
Litwin said the process of editing existing images with AI has become incredibly easy and fast, often leading to horrible experiences for families.
“These are not real kids,” Litwin said. “These are kids that are being generated through AI and as these AI, as the algorithm is receiving more of these images, it can kind of basically improve itself, in a negative way.”
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Fox News’ Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.
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