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Five times AI-generated images misled the public in 2023

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Last year, we saw the acceleration of AI-generated images and how they can be used to mislead people. AI generates new images using neural networks, rules-based systems, statistical methods, and other techniques. 

AI images can also be misleading because they do not always accurately represent what they should. For example, if an AI image shows a person, that person may not look like that. This can lead to misunderstandings.

DUBAWA highlighted five times we saw how AI was used to mislead the public. 

  1. Musician R-Kelly performing at a prison concert
Five times AI-generated images misled the public in 2023
Image of R. Kelly. Picture source: TMZ.

X user shared images of R. Kelly performing in prison, suggesting he sells out shows in the prison yard. The tweet stirred up mixed reactions in the comment section. While some marvelled at the ability of the convicted R&B singer to excel in the prison yard, others dismissed the images of the concert as digitally generated. 

As of Tuesday, May 9, 2023,  the tweet had gathered over 6,213 retweets, 2,082 quotes, 57 likes and 1,431 bookmarks.

Our findings show that the image is not original. Analysis of the images shows they have been highly enhanced with the help of Artificial Intelligence. Moreover, discrepancies abound between the details of the images and the context in which they are set.

  1. Octopus destroyed a parked vehicle in New York

After a state of emergency was declared in New York, USA, due to intense flooding, Social Mediaz, a Facebook page, released a cautionary video to the public. The brief clip features a massive octopus crawling over a parked white car in an enclosed garage. As it reaches the windshield, the creature extends its arms, resulting in the car being crushed and an alarm blaring. The video’s caption warns people to be mindful of where they park their vehicles during this critical situation.

While investigating, we discovered that the video depicting an octopus crushing a car is a product of artificial intelligence. It is not only misleading; it has nothing to do with the New York state of emergency.

  1. Peter Obi’s visit to Aso Rock
Five times AI-generated images misled the public in 2023

A Facebook handle, The Pickers NG, posted on the meta parent app, Facebook, that the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Candidate, Peter Obi, paid a visit to the state house in Abuja, where President Bola Tinubu resides.

“Obi visits, Tinubu welcomes. Obi in Aso Rock villa.” Part of the statement reads.

While verifying, DUBAWA discovered that the photo used to represent the post had been doctored. We used a Google Reverse Image Search tool on the picture and saw a similar one was taken earlier with another person. 

Also, no public reports suggest such a meeting occurred between Tinubu and Peter Obi. 

  1. Burna boy hailing Davido at an event

A video clip posted by Big 9 (@Innocentzikky_) shows Nigerian singer Damini Ogulu (Burna Boy) hailing his fellow male singers, Wizkid and Davido. The tweet unsurprisingly attracted great engagement as over 1.2 million users viewed it, 1,910 retweeted, 390 quoted, 8,638 liked, and 944 bookmarked.

To confirm our suspicion, we subjected frames from the simulated video to a more digitally scientific approach, using an AI-image-detecting tool, Hugging Face. After passing the clip through the tool, it identified 100 per cent artificial intelligence property. 

The video clip is an artificial intelligence-simulated copy of an interview that Burna Boy had in 2019 with the Breakfast Club.   

  1. Hilda Baci with Guinness World Records certificate

X user @HerStoryUG has shared a picture purporting to be Nigerian chef Hilda Baci with a certificate from the Guinness World Recordz for breaking a record of 100 hours of uninterrupted cooking. 

The post has already received over 53,000 views and over 500 views.

Investigation using Fotoforensics suggests that the image had some edits done to it. The JPEG% in the Fotoforensics tool also shows a mass repetition of numbers. This is a red flag. This suggests that the image has, possibly, been edited multiple times.

DUBAWA also ran a Tineye image search and was directed to Rawpixel, a website dedicated to publishing stock photos. DUBAWA saw the original photo captioned, “Cheerful black woman showing a sign with a blank speech bubble on the website.”

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