The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

AI is More Than ChatGPT: It is a Ticking Time Bomb for Women

Women are suffering at the hands of the latest technology and something needs to be done about it.
Photo Courtesy / Unsplash  Melanie Wasser

In recent months, image-based sexual abuse has been on the rise due to alternative intelligence (AI) mainly targeting high-profile women. It also imposes an increased risk to the LGBTQ+ community, sex workers and women everywhere. A 2023 UPenn article on the rise of deepfake porn says, “Broadly speaking, minoritized women and femmes are more likely to experience image-based sexual abuse, as are single people and adolescents. LGBTQ populations are also at increased risk of harassment.”

There are currently four states that created laws based on image-based sexual abuse. But with the growth of the internet, now more than anything what society needs is protection of the most vulnerable. When 14 year old Mia Janine takes her own life as a result of bullying and her face being placed onto the bodies of porn stars, it makes me fear what AI could do next. 

What do we turn to when we see our own faces reflected back at us on the news and social media? When one girl dies or is faced with an inconceivable amount of tragedy, all girls watching stand as testaments to her pain. 

We turn on the news and see our politicians arguing for more law enforcement and to lock people up in prisons overflowing with blue-collar criminals. But there is something about the politics of it all that makes my stomach turn and keep me from making eye contact with the girl’s face staring back at me, especially knowing that the politicians raising their voices only comes from a sense of inherent whiteness and lack of acknowledgement for women of color. 

In order to stop these things from happening, the culture around women’s existences must shift. Image-based sexual abuse is an example of the continual affects AI pornography can have on generations of people. If boys grow up believing that behavior like this is okay, what will stop them from using it to harm the women that they know? The cycle continues. 

This is not a call for more policing or for longer prison sentences when tragedy does strike, this is a call for accountability. For resources available to victims and perpetrators, for laws to be created to catch crimes before they increase. 

Resources can include community-led programs about sexual assault prevention and affordable therapy for people dealing with the effects of abuse and assault on their lives. More than anything, this is a call to see one less smiling girl’s eyes staring into mine, knowing that she died and nothing can be done to save her. Knowing that I cannot reach into my screen and pull her out. 

These girls are suspended in time for me as the same age they were when they died. When the boy’s mugshot appears on the screen, I try to imagine what he was like as a child and what happened down the line for everything to go so wrong for him. 

Social media, Deepfake images and an entire world of systemic, personal and institutional oppression fosters a world where the most heinous thoughts are validated. In order to be here for our women, we need to start with our boys. 

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About the Contributors
Carlyann Carey
Carlyann Carey, Opinion Editor
Carlyann (CC) is a junior English major and government and politics minor. This is her first year as the Opinion Editor of the Torch and she is ecstatic to be here! Outside of the Torch, she is a student worker at the Office of Residence Life. When left to her own devices, she likes to go for long runs, stand in line at Dunkin’ for an iced coffee and watch video essays on YouTube while crocheting. CC can be reached at [email protected]
Dea Hoxha
Dea Hoxha, Editor-in-Chief
Dea is a junior journalism student currently serving as Editor-in-Chief. In 2022, she served as the News Editor of The Torch. As Editor-in-Chief, Dea is excited to expand The Torch’s presence throughout the St. John’s community. When she isn’t writing, you can find her going on a coffee run while listening to Taylor Swift or Harry Styles.  Dea can be reached at [email protected]
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