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Biden Bans TikTok, Mona Lisa Raps, and is Everyone Fighting A.I.?

Words by
Jackie Baucom

APR 25, 2024

Biden Bans TikTok, Mona Lisa Raps, and is Everyone Fighting A.I.?

It was a slower week for news involving kids and tech. The only real explanation is we’ve all been too busy listening to “The Tortured Poets Department.” Even so, here’s a quick recap to keep you up to date.


The TikTok Tug-of-War Continues

On April 24, President Biden signed a law threatening to ban Chinese-owned TikTok if not sold within a year. However, legal challenges and Chinese resistance complicate a potential sale.

TikTok announced its plans to contest the law, citing free speech concerns.

Critics call the law unconstitutional, and are advocating for broader privacy legislation instead. While some lawmakers cite TikTok as a national security risk.

NPR | President Biden signs law to ban TikTok nationwide unless it is sold


A.I. vs. Child Exploitation

A Stanford report warns that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is overwhelmed by a surge in A.I.-generated child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Criminals are using A.I. to create explicit images of children, making it harder for law enforcement to identify real victims.

While A.I-generated CSAM containing real children is illegal, synthetically made content without real images may be protected as free speech. 

The New York Times | A.I.-Generated Child Sexual Abuse Material May Overwhelm Tip Line


A.I. Companies Agree to Protect Kids

OpenAi, Meta Platforms, and Google, are joining forces to protect children from exploitation.

New generative A.I. tools have made it easier for predators to create sexualized images of children. In 2023, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received 36 million reports of child exploitation.

This alliance aims to minimize risks by avoiding data sets with child sexual content, and enhancing red-teaming efforts (testing cybersecurity effectiveness by emulating real attackers’ tactics).

The Wall Street Journal | OpenAI, Meta and Google Sign On to New Child Exploitation Safety Measures


Microsoft’s Face-Animating AI

Microsoft introduced VASA-1, an AI model capable of creating lifelike videos from still images and audio. The demonstration included the Mona Lisa rapping.

Microsoft believes this technology has the potential to be used for education, or to help those with communication challenges, among other uses.

There are no plans to release the product to the public until Microsoft is certain it will be used responsibly  and adheres to regulation.

CNN | The Mona Lisa rapping? New Microsoft AI animates faces from photos


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