MANILA, Philippines — It is imperative for the national government to confront the threat posed by artificial intelligence, particularly its potential to facilitate the exploitation and abuse of children by sexual predators, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Wednesday.
For the senator, modernization follows an alarming trend of sexual abuse among children.
“While the modernization of technology continues, it is alarming that people also continuously find new ways to abuse children,” he said in Filipino in a statement issued in time for the nationwide celebration of the National Awareness Week for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse.
“It’s important for us to address this and make certain that anyone who uses the internet or technology to abuse children will be penalized,” he added.
The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) earlier warned against worsening child abuse, saying that some unscrupulous people use artificial intelligence to peddle child pornography.
“There are unscrupulous people who do not have access to children but have the technical knowledge and the money to buy hardware and software [that] can already create an unlimited number of [AI-generated] pictures and sell these over the dark web,” CWC Executive Director Angelo Tapales earlier explained.
With this, CWC advised Filipino parents to strictly monitor their children’s screen time. Gatchalian only echoed the council’s call.
“I also call on our parents to keep a close eye on their children when it comes to the use of gadgets, especially since it can be a way to get their pictures and use them in various ways of violence and abuse,” Gatchalian said.
Citing data from 2019, the Department of Information and Communications Technology previously disclosed that the Philippines is the world’s first in terms of digital illiteracy and second in terms of online sexual exploitation of children.