U.S. Senate considers ways to regulate artificial intelligence
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff and other U.S. leaders are working to address the dangers of AI, or artificial intelligence.
“It still shakes me. It’s still very present and very real,” Jennifer DeStefano, a victim of an artificial intelligence scam, said. “That’s a fear that no mother ever wants to experience and it’s still very valid.”
DeStefano was not with her daughter at the time she received an alarming call from an unknown number.
She says it was a voice that sounded just like her daughter — crying, saying she had been kidnapped.
That’s when two men got on the phone and ordered DeStefano to pay a ransom to get her daughter back.
“It started at $1 million. It reduced to $50,000 because that wasn’t possible,” DeStefano said. “I asked for wiring instructions. I found out from 911 that AI is a common scam. They can use not just the voice, but the inflection, the emotion. I still didn’t believe it, because I heard — I talked to my daughter. It was my daughter.”
DeStefano says the police told her nothing could be done since no kidnapping had taken place and no money had been sent.
But she and Senator Ossoff say there need to be consequences for these types of scams. He addressed the issue in the Senate hearing on Tuesday.
“I held today’s hearing so that the Senate could investigate and understand the nature of the threats from the abuse of use of artificial intelligence,” Ossoff said. “We identified some important areas where there may be a need for new legislation, or to press federal law enforcement agencies to better protect families in Georgia and across the country from these threats.”
DeStefano adds that action needs to be taken immediately before the abuse of AI becomes even greater.
“My greatest fear is how is that going to manifest into other areas like human trafficking and abduction of children,” DeStefano said. “Because luckily, I was an adult who had other adults around me. But what if that was a child? ‘Hey, it’s mom. Come meet me here.’ That’s my greatest fear.”
Tuesday’s hearing was the first of three Senate briefings, as congressional leaders try to figure out how to regulate artificial intelligence.
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