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Review set to scrutinise AI’s impact on porn industry

The review will examine how viewing porn impacts users of all ages (Yui Mok/PA)
The review will examine how viewing porn impacts users of all ages (Yui Mok/PA) The review will examine how viewing porn impacts users of all ages (Yui Mok/PA)

A government review will scrutinise the harmful impact of pornography and the emerging challenges from artificial intelligence.

Baroness Gabby Bertin has been appointed to look at abuse, exploitation and trafficking in pornography and its impact on viewers.

The Pornography Review will examine how viewing impacts users of all ages, including emerging challenges from AI generated pornography.

Baroness Bertin, vice chairwoman of the All-Parliamentary Party Group on Domestic Violence and Abuse, will also review current porn rules and whether law enforcers have the necessary tools to tackle illegal pornographic content.

The review will also draw on expertise from law enforcement, the criminal justice system, external experts and the pornography industry to look at the existing regulation and whether the existing criminal offences are adequately enforced online as they are offline.

In October, the Government’s Online Safety Act which forces tech firms to make people safer on the internet became law.

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said the new act meant the UK would become “the safest place to be online in the world”.

British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference
British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan (Niall Carson/PA)

Baroness Bertin has been tasked by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology to consider the links between the pornography industry and the prevalence of human trafficking and exploitation and users’ attitudes towards women and girls.

It will then recommend what can be done to tackle this, including improving reporting and identification.

Baroness Bertin said: “The damaging impact that extreme pornography is having on society cannot be allowed to continue unchecked.

“We owe it to our children and indeed to the whole of society to put the guard rails back in place.

“The past two decades have seen a dramatic change in the way we consume media and interact with content online.

“Pornography regulation now needs to reflect this change.

“The ease with which people can access harmful and illegal pornography is having a devastating impact on many areas of our lives but it is particularly damaging and degrading to women and girls.

“A key aspect of the review will be assessing the links between pornography, exploitation and a culture of violence towards women and girls.

“I am determined that this review will ensure laws and regulations governing a dramatically changed pornography industry are once again fit for purpose.”

Secretary of State for Innovation, Technology and Science, Michelle Donelan said the Government had an “unrelenting focus on safety and education”.

She said: “Baroness Bertin will bring valuable experience to the process, leading on investigating how exploitation and abuse is tackled in the industry, and to examine the potentially harmful impact of pornography.”