Monday, April 22

Martin County man used artificial intelligence to create child pornography, detectives say

Detectives on the Treasure Coast said they’ve made an arrest in their first case involving artificial intelligence and the exploitation of a child.

“It’s pretty scary when you look at this stuff,” Martin County detective Brian Broughton said. “If you just looked at it briefly, you would think it’s a real photograph.”

Investigators said Daniel Clark Warren, 51, of Jensen Beach took a photo of a young girl who lived in his neighborhood and then used AI to create child pornography using the child’s picture.

“He takes the face of a child, and then he sexualizes that, removes the clothing … engages (the child) in certain sexual activity,” Broughton said.

Detectives said Warren faces 14 felony counts of possession of child pornography and three felony counts of video voyeurism.

Jennifer Newman, the executive director of the Exploited Children’s Division of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said last year there were 36 million cyber tips that came in from around the world.

Jennifer Newman, the executive director of the exploited children’s division of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said once we post something online, we lose control over it.

“Think before you post,” Newman said. “Think before you send.”

She said there were 36 million cyber tips that came in from around the world last year.

“We intake those reports, add value to those reports, act as a first filter for those reports and provide them on to law enforcement,” Newman said.

It was a tip that led to Warrens arrest in January. It only became public now as detectives worked to see if there were other related cases.

WPTV cybersecurity and internet expert Alan Crowetz said we are at the dawn of a new technological era.

“AI is now in its Wild West phase,” Crowetz said. “Where it’s bringing us absolutely things and promising us even more. But bad guys are notoriously good at taking brand new stuff, and using it for evil purposes.”

While AI and deepfakes have been discussed for some time now, it’s getting the attention of both local and federal law enforcement. The FBI just sent out a memo last week where the agency discussed a case involving a child psychiatrist.

Newman said these cases highlight the importance of online safety discussions between parents and kids.

“‘OK, you want to be on this platform. Let’s sit down and talk about doing this together,'” Newman said in advising parents on how to talk to their children about social media. “It’s not the ‘no’s and dont’s because that’s not really realistic,” Newman said.

Warren, who could also face federal charges, is in jail with a $1.5 million bond.

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