The Artificial Intelligence Race Must Pause Until Sexual Exploitation Issues Can be Addressed

NCOSE Press Statement logo

Washington, DC (April 13, 2023) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) joins the call by technology industry leaders like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Tristan Harris, and more than 50,000 people, to pause on large, open experiments with artificial intelligence.

“One critical element of AI implementation is addressing how these tools will facilitate greater amounts of sexual exploitation, if left unregulated or outright ignored. Despite the good that technology can bring into our lives, we agree with technology industry leaders that AI experiments must be paused. If these tech leaders are concerned, that is a clear signal that the public must be too,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

NCOSE recently called on Snap to block its new AI chat tool for minors, given reports of grooming language used by the bot when talking with kids already, and the potential for greater harm. The AI tool is promoted by Snap as a “friend” to users. Telegram and Discord enabled Midjourney AI on their platforms, and users are creating thousands of deepfake pornographic images using the AI technology. Vice reported that ChatGPT “may sometimes generate descriptions of sex acts with children and animals—without having been asked to.”

“It is critical that those who seek to implement AI into their products thoroughly evaluate and test these systems from the point of view of all users – young and old — before releasing them to the public. Many users, including children, are acutely unaware of the risks and harms that stem from the unfettered AI race. We cannot reconcile ourselves with these inevitable harms and it is clear that a pause is needed. We don’t allow prescription drugs to enter the market until they have been thoroughly tested. The same needs to happen with AI,” Hawkins added.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography. 

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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