According to MIT, a deepfake refers to a specific kind of synthetic media in which a person in an image or video is swapped with another person’s likeness.

Assemblyman Jake Blumencranz (R,C-Oyster Bay) has hit the ground running during the 2024 Legislative Session by introducing two comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) bills, the “Swift Act” and the “New York AI Child Safety Act,” which seek to protect children and hold those accountable who abuse New Yorkers using artificial intelligence-generated media, such as deepfakes.

According to MIT, a deepfake refers to a specific kind of synthetic media in which a person in an image or video is swapped with another person’s likeness. “Protecting our most vulnerable populations from abuse must be our top priority as leaders, especially in the wake of emerging technologies such as AI and the corresponding proliferation of deepfakes across the internet,” said Blumencranz.

In response to the rise of deepfakes being shared on the internet, Blumencranz introduced the “New York AI Child Safety Act,” which would increase criminal penalties for those charged with promoting or possessing child pornography generated by AI, empowering law enforcement, prosecutors and the judiciary to hold malfeasors accountable and impose longer criminal sentences.

“As the Ranking Member of the Assembly Standing Committee on Science and Technology, I understand firsthand New Yorkers need greater protections from their likeness being stolen and weaponized through the use of deepfake and AI-generated content.  Long Island itself has fallen victim to deepfakes and I refuse to stand idly by while my neighbors and fellow New Yorkers suffer. Just last year, a man in Nassau County was sentenced to six months in prison after he used images of his former classmates to make sexually explicit content online. Criminality in any form has no place in Nassau County, New York state or our nation,” said Blumencranz.

In addition to children, individuals from all walks of life are being targeted daily by the unlawful distribution of sexually explicit deepfakes. Just last week, pop star Taylor Swift fell victim to the dissemination of sexually explicit deepfakes.

In response, Blumencranz promptly introduced another robust bill – this one aimed at requiring social media platforms like “X” to promptly remove unlawful publications of intimate images, including those created by digitization or generative AI. Blumencranz’s proposed legislation would also increase criminal penalties for this form of unlawful conduct from a misdemeanor under current law to a felony. Lastly, the Swift Act would empower the attorney general with the discretion to enforce this proposed new law and seek to obtain restitution and civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation.

Blumencranz is committed to ensuring regulatory and penal safeguards exist to keep our communities and vulnerable populations safe from abuses of AI and other emerging technologies. Both the Swift Act and the New York AI Child Safety Act are currently being considered by the New York state Assembly.

Assemblyman Jake Blumencranz represents the 15th Assembly District, which includes portions of the towns of Hempstead, North Hempstead, and Oyster Bay. For more information on Assemblyman Blumencranz, follow him on Facebook.


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