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September 13, 2023

Sex offenders using open-source AI to create child abuse content, says watchdog

  • The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has reported that online forums used by sex offenders were discussing using open-source AI models to create new illegal material.
  • This warning has followed the chair of the government’s AI taskforce, Ian Hogarth raising concerns about CSAM on Tuesday.
  • Open-source AI technology can be downloaded and adjusted by users to suit their needs.
  • Chief technology officer at the IWF, Dan Sexton told the Guardian that these discussion forums on the dark web were discussing which open-source models to use and how to achieve the most realistic images.
  • Mr Sexton has commented that “Child sexual abuse online is already, as we believe, a public health epidemic. So this is not going to make the problem any better. It’s only going to potentially make it worse.”
  • For more, please visit the Guardian’s website.

Girls’ happiness hits 15-year low, annual Girlguiding survey suggests

  • According to Girlguiding’s annual survey, concerns about appearance, online harms and sexual harassment all concern young people. 
  • Less than a fifth of respondents described themselves as very happy. 
  • 89% reported feeling generally worried or anxious. 
  • Researchers have noted that the sharpest decline in happiness was among the youngest girls, aged between seven and 10 years old., decreasing from 57% in 2009 to just 28%. 
  • In terms of appearance, 67% of girls aged between 11 and 21 said they sometimes felt ashamed of the way they look because there are not like girls and women they see in the media and online.  
  • Online harms have affected even the youngest girls, with 44% of those aged between seven and 10 saying strangers have messaged them or sent friend requests when playing games online, 
  • For more, please visit the Yahoo News website.  

Parents want flexible, inclusive school uniform policies, says survey

  • The survey commissioned by Save the Children NI reveals that 93% of respondents opposed the removal of uniforms but want more flexible policies.
  • A separate poll found that 30% if parents have to borrow money to afford their child’s uniform or PE kit.
  • In the latest survey, by LucidTalk, respondents reported that it was unacceptable for young people to be excluded from school for not having the right uniform.
  • The survey revealed 93% believe all children should feel comfortable in their uniform.
  • 87% agreed that during menstruation, girls should be allowed to wear trousers or leggings for PE.
  • Naomi McBurney from Save the Children said, “it is not acceptable for children to miss out on their education due to issues relating to school uniforms and PE kits, especially when many families are struggling to afford the uncapped costs.”
  • Ms McBurney stated that schools can ensure they remain in step with legislation, by assessing their current policies through completion of the Child’s Rights and Equality Impact Assessments”.
  • She urged the Department of Education to “support decision-making stakeholders with this process”.
  • For more, please visit the Irish News website.

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