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  • Writer's pictureScott Shellenberger

Maryland leaders look to address criminal use of AI after alleged fake recording

David Collins | April 26, 2024 | WBALTV 11 | Original Source

PIKESVILLE, Md. — Artificial intelligence is once again taking center stage as legal concerns grow around the rapidly evolving technology.

After an athletic director allegedly used AI to implicate the principal at Pikesville High School, Maryland leaders are making the topic a priority.

"There is so much technology now that has advanced our society, and yet for every good that it has done, there is somebody out there ready to take that technology and do evil. That's what we need to stay ahead of," Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said.

Shellenberger is leading the investigative effort to help Maryland law catch up.

"I think this is a whole new area of the law that we really need to explore and get a handle on," he said.

Police arrested Dazhon Darien on various charges Thursday, accusing him of using AI to retaliate against the principal at Pikesville High School. Police said Darien used AI to create a fake recording of the principal's voice making racist and antisemitic comments in a private conversation. Police said experts from numerous institutions determined the recording to be fake, and created using AI.

Baltimore County Sen. Shelly Hettleman, D-District 11, is offering to introduce legislation that holds people criminally responsible for misusing AI.

"I think it is very serious. There is no question this is having a horrible effect on someone's life," she said. "I think there needs to be accountability for someone who takes action like this and misrepresents someone and paints them what isn't accurate."

Shellenberger and lawmakers are looking into drafting legislation that would apply to several scenarios, including elder abuse, white-collar crime and election fraud.

"It's tricky because it is a brand new area. It's such a new area of the law," he said.

Gov. Wes Moore created a sub-cabinet to develop strategy, policy and monitoring processes for AI, but the criminal aspect of the technology is not one of its responsibilities.

Experts will be tapped locally and nationally for ideas. Shellenberger is confident a bill will be drafted in time for lawmakers to consider during the next legislative session.

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