Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used by pedophiles to simulate the childhoods of celebrities.
Reimagined childhood photos of a well-known female singer are being circulated by predators, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).
Images of child actors are also being altered to make them sexual, the charity said.
With the assistance of custom image generators, hundreds of photos of actual victims of child sexual abuse are being produced.
The IWF, which aims to spread awareness about the risks associated with pedophiles who use AI systems capable of producing photos from basic written commands, provided the details for this paper, which is the most recent one on the issue.
Researchers have cautioned that because these potent picture-production tools become available to the general public, there is a chance they may be abused to produce illegal images.
The "alarming rise in despicable AI-generated images of children being sexually exploited by pedophiles" was the subject of a joint statement released in May by US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Home Secretary Suella Braverman.
According to the IWF report, researchers tracked down roughly 3,000 artificial intelligence (AI) photos that are prohibited by UK legislation after spending a month tracking photographs on one particular darknet website related to child abuse.
According to analysts, there is a recent trend in which predators replicate several high-profile child abuse victims in various sexual assault contexts using only one photo of the victim.
One folder they discovered featured 501 pictures of a real-life victim who was abused sexually when she was between the ages of 9 and 10. Predators also included a refined AI model file in the package so that people could create further pictures of her.
According to the IWF, some of the imagery—which includes pictures of famous people as kids—is incredibly accurate and hard for inexperienced eyes to tell apart.
Images of primarily female singers and movie stars that had been digitally aged to resemble youngsters were presented to analysts.
The report omitted the names of the targeted celebrities.