Call for action at NJ high school after AI used to make fake pornographic images of girls

Westfield High School says a student used AI to place the classmates faces on the images

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Saturday, November 4, 2023
Student uses AI to make fake pornographic images of female classmates
Anthony Johnson has more on the investigation.

WESTFIELD, New Jersey -- Infuriated parents and students at a high school in Union County, New Jersey are calling for action after the faces of some girls were pasted on top of pornographic images and then posted on a website.

At least 30 female Westfield High School students have been victimized by a student who used artificial intelligence to place their faces on pornographic images. It has left them feeling embarrassed and ridiculed.

"I just started crying because I didn't know what to do, I didn't think this could happen to me," student Francesca Mani said.

The photos came to light back on October 20, and the victims quickly alerted the school administration.

"So, one of the boys accidentally told one of the girls, and that's when the next day it all spread out," Mani said.

But one mom is taking further legal action and vows to fight this emerging national issue. Parents say it's sad that artificial intelligence is being used to bully students.

"I think it's tough for all of the kids to deal with it. Hopefully, they can all get through it, you know, it certainly is a lot different from when I was going to school," parent Eric Radlmann said.

"All school districts are grappling with the challenges and impact of artificial intelligence and other technology available to students at any time and anywhere," Westfield Schools Superintendent Dr. Raymond Gonzalez said in a statement.

The school quickly suspended the student responsible for creating the images, but Mani is left to deal with the fallout from being a target.

"I didn't think it would be one of my classmates, I thought it would just be creeps online, but it was one of my classmates," Mani said.

The principal also made her feelings known in a statement.

"It is critically important to talk with your children about their use of technology and what they are posting, saving and sharing on social media," Westfield High School Principal Mary Asfendis said. "We will continue to educate your children on the importance of responsible use of technology and hope you reinforce these messages at home."