AI Nude Photo Investigation Finds 16 Victims, 5 Offenders: BHUSD
AI Nude Photo Investigation Finds 16 Victims, 5 Offenders: BHUSD

AI Nude Photo Investigation Finds 16 Victims, 5 Offenders: BHUSD

BEVERLY HILLS, CA — School officials in Beverly Hills determined that five eighth graders were “egregiously involved” in the creation and dissemination of AI-generated nude photos of their classmates and took “appropriate measures” to discipline them, Superintendent Michael Bregy said Thursday.

In the conclusion of their investigation, Beverly Hills Unified School Officials determined that “16 8th-grade students were identified as being victimized” in what Bregy called an “isolated incident” at Beverly Vista Middle School that was contained within 24 hours, he wrote in an email to the school community Thursday.

Beverly Vista administrators last month became aware of the AI generated photos following students’ reports. School officials said that students were creating and disseminating images of AI-generated nude bodies with other students’ faces superimposed onto them.

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In his Thursday email, Bregy said he was limited in what he could share about the outcome of the investigation, saying only that “appropriate measures” had been taken to discipline the offending students. The Beverly Hills Police Department’s investigation is ongoing, he wrote.

AI image generators such as OpenAI’s DALL-E use machine learning to generate brand-new images from a users’ text prompt. For example, a user can ask the software for a picture of a sunset; the software knows how to make such an image because it has been “trained” using scores of sunset images that already exist on the web.

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These tools can create “deepfakes,” where a real-life person’s likeness is used to create a kind of digital puppet, allowing them to be depicted doing or saying something they did not do or say in real life. The problem was highlighted recently when fake pornographic images of Taylor Swift went viral on social media.

AI, used in combination with other software, allows for a broad range of sophistication when it comes to the creation of deepfakes — from crude-cut-and paste jobs to eerily convincing simulacra.

Here’s Bregy’s complete email:

Dear BHUSD Community,

As we reach a pivotal moment in addressing a deeply troubling incident within our community, I wish to share with you the closure of the thorough investigation regarding the unethical use of AI. BHUSD has officially completed all required actions pertaining to the incident. As previously shared, the Beverly Hills Police Department’s investigation is ongoing.

This moment is not just about the conclusion of an investigation; it is a reflection of our resilience, unity, and collective commitment to safeguarding the well-being of our students and upholding our mission of Educational Excellence.

This incident has spurred crucial discussions on the ethical use of technology, including AI, underscoring the importance of vigilant and informed engagement within digital environments. In response, our District is steadfast in its commitment to enhancing education around digital citizenship, privacy, and safety for our students, staff, and parents. This commitment was immediately reemphasized at all schools following the incident.

In adherence with California Education Code, we are limited in the details we can share about disciplinary actions, but it is crucial for our community to understand the seriousness with which we approach such matters. Significant in this matter was the containment within twenty-four hours of the isolated incident regarding the involved parties. Sixteen eighth-grade students were identified as being victimized, as well as five egregiously involved eighth-grade students.

Furthermore, we recognize that kids are still learning and growing, and mistakes are part of this process. However, accountability is essential, and appropriate measures have been taken. We continue to support all students per our Mission Statement, “Our students will realize their full potential to thrive with integrity in a complex, changing world.”

I extend my profound gratitude to our students, staff, parents, and community members for their enduring support and cooperation. Your solidarity has been fundamental in preserving a supportive and secure educational atmosphere for our students.

Thank you for your trust, patience, and dedication to our shared District Mission and Values.

Dr. Michael Bregy

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