Teen boys used artificial intelligence (AI) to make deepfake nude photographs of their female classmates at a high school in the U.S.
An investigation is now underway after teenage girls at Westfield High School in Westfield, New Jersey, discovered that their male classmates had used AI technology to create deepfake pornographic images of them — which were then shared in group chats.
According to a report by The Washington Street Journal, the girls at the high school suspected that their Sophomore male classmates were acting “weird” on October 18.
Multiple girls started asking questions and finally, on October 20, one boy disclosed that a male student had used the girls’ online photos to create fake AI-generated nude images of them which were circulated with other high school students.
The high school confirmed the incident in an email to parents to the publication but a Westfield Public Schools spokeswoman declined to provide details on the number of students involved or to confirm whether any disciplinary action had been taken, citing student confidentiality.
‘I am Terrified By How This is Going to Surface’
The Washington Street Journal reports that the lack of clarity on such AI-generated images’ legality and how or whether to punish the creators of the deepfaked photos has parents, schools, and law enforcement struggling to deal with the technology.
Several parents said their daughters have felt humiliated and powerless following the incident. They described their concern about damage to the girls should the images surface later and were upset that no resolution is forthcoming. Two of the four parents have filed reports with local police.
“I am terrified by how this is going to surface and when,” Dorota Mani, whose 14-year-old daughter’s photo was used to create one of the AI-generated nudes, told the publication.
“My daughter has a bright future and no one can guarantee this won’t impact her professionally, academically, or socially.”
Westfield police are currently investigating the incident and a state senator has asked county prosecutors to look into the case.
Last month, an internet watchdog agency warned that the rise of AI-generated child sex abuse images online could get even worse — if controls aren’t put on the technology that generates deepfake photos.
Earlier this year, a sleepy town in Spain was rocked by an AI image scandal that saw nude pictures of children passed around.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.