Artificial technology has become so smart, a proposed New Jersey law says we need to crack down on "deepfake" pornography that puts someone's innocent photo in some not-so-innocent material that looks 100% real.

Legislation newly introduced by Sen. Kristin Corrado, R-Passaic, would criminalize the non-consensual sharing of this fake porn.

"We want to make sure that if somebody even thinks of doing this, the penalties are in place to hopefully stop it," Corrado told Townsquare Media. "It's incredibly lifelike, and it's scary to think that there's the capability to do this."

Deepfake videos have had the attention of federal and state officials in recent years. A faked video may show a "celebrity" using a racial slur, or a "politician" in a compromising position. Because they're so convincing, the deepfakes are even considered a threat to national safety.

"There were hundreds of examples once we started looking into it," Corrado said.

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Under Corrado's bill, sharing deepfake porn without the consent of the person in the material would be a crime of the third degree, just like so-called "revenge porn," which utilizes shared videos or photos in a malicious way.

A crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000.

Under the measure, deepfake pornography that features a child would be treated the same as child pornography — that can be a crime of the first or second degree, depending on the number of files involved.

"Given the rapid rise of AI, deepfake pornography is an emerging threat that we need to address today," Corrado said.

New Jersey lawmakers in 2021 took up legislation that targeted deepfake videos. One bill would have banned fake videos featuring politicians within two months of an election.

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