A Missouri House bill designed to combat deepfake AI images has been introduced. The so-called “Taylor Swift Act” would allow people to sue and seek criminal charges against anyone who shares an image altered by artificial intelligence without that victim’s permission.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Adam Schwadron, R-St. Charles, named the legislation after Taylor Swift, who fell victim to manipulated photos of her that were widely viewed online.

“Using her notoriety and the issue at the time would help increase awareness around this issue because, as a celebrity, she was able to get her images removed from the website, whereas normal folks, regular Missourians, they would not have such luxuries afforded to them,” he told Missourinet.

The legislation would levy class E and class C felonies against someone who shares an image altered by artificial intelligence without their permission.

“What we are seeing are applications where you can upload a photo and it would put that person’s face on a naked body,” he said. “So, while it’s not that person’s body, the image appears as if it is.”

So-called deepfakes are a type of media that has been digitally manipulated using artificial intelligence to create a realistic looking picture or video of somebody.

“The amount that was uploaded in 2023 was more than every other year before that combined,” said Schwadron. “So, this is an exploding phenomenon. I want to make sure that we are out in front of it before we have a situation like what happened in London, England, where a 14-year-old girl had some of these images created and she ended up committing suicide as a result.”

Similar legislation received initial approval from the House last week.

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