A Hollywood union has thrown its weight behind legislation in California’s Senate that would make pornographic deepfakes a crime.

Deepfakes are – increasingly prevalent and realistic – digital forgeries of videos or audio, created using machine-learning techniques.

Bill SB564, which has passed California’s Judiciary Committee, is being sponsored by The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).

It extends the definition of a consenting individual to include not just an actual act, or a performance, but a “realistic digitized performance in which the individual did not actually perform”.

Fears about the proliferation of deepfakes have led to an unusual alliance between the leading American union, which includes Hollywood royalty as members, and intelligence experts, as they seek to raise awareness of the threat.

Both sides sat down last week for discussions that brought in Adam Schiff, the powerful chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and actress and activisit Alyssa Milano.

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