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AI fakes out the Met Gala

Published about 1 month ago • 2 min read

Hey Reader,

Today I'm excited to share an article from IWAI contributor Nyasha Green. Nyasha is a LinkedIn Learning instructor and software engineer, and a frequent co-host of our new Innovating with AI Insights podcast. Enjoy!

Coverage of the Met Gala, known for its extravagant fashion statements and star-studded guest list, was flooded with viral AI-generated images of celebrities this year, despite many of the featured stars not being in attendance.

Katy Perry and Rihanna were two of the most notable names caught up in the mix, as images of Perry wearing a floral ball gown and a gold corset dress circulated widely across social media. Neither Perry nor Rihanna attended the event in real life, highlighting how convincing and pervasive AI-generated images have become. Perry shared screenshots of a conversation with her mother, who had been tricked into believing the images were genuine, emphasizing the reach of such misleading content.

A Wave of Convincing Fakes

The images of Perry were quickly picked up and shared by social media users, with one AI-created photo of her in a floral gown garnering over 13 million views on Twitter. Even Perry’s mother was duped, sending a message expressing admiration for her daughter’s stunning outfit. Perry swiftly and funnily clarified on Instagram, stating, "lol mom the AI got you too, BEWARE!" The second viral AI image featured Perry in a metallic corset dress and key breastplate that perfectly matched the Met Gala theme, “The Garden of Time.” Many fans initially believed the images to be real until Perry disclosed their true nature.

Rihanna’s dupe

Singer Rihanna was also a target of viral AI photos, with an image of her supposedly at the Met Gala wearing a grand embroidered gown that incorporated fauna and birds spreading quickly on social media. However, Rihanna was home with the flu and missed the event entirely. Additionally, AI-created images of singer Dua Lipa in a corseted gown misled many users into thinking she was attending the gala, only for her to arrive later wearing a completely different outfit. The fake image circulated widely before the actual event, which caused confusion among fans who were expecting to see Lipa in that outfit. The mixup highlighted how quickly AI-generated content can affect public perception, particularly during high-profile events like the Met Gala.

Implications and Disinformation Concerns

While the Met Gala fakes might appear harmless, the incident raises broader concerns about the potential misuse of AI-generated content. Marianna Spring, a disinformation and social media correspondent, highlighted how subtle errors in AI images, like inconsistent fingers or missing parts of photographers, were still visible but improving over previous fakes. She warned that despite these imperfections, the sophistication of AI-generated images continues to advance, making it increasingly difficult to differentiate them from authentic media. The convincing nature of these images makes it increasingly difficult for the public to differentiate fact from fiction, especially when high-profile events like elections could be targets of similar disinformation tactics. Recent AI deep fakes of political figures illustrate the potential harm that false narratives can cause if left unchecked.

Navigating AI Fakes Going Forward

As AI-generated content becomes more refined and widespread, companies like Meta are stepping up efforts to label such media to protect users. Despite these measures, it remains essential for users to develop strong media literacy skills and approach viral content with skepticism. Cross-referencing multiple sources and looking for inconsistencies can help identify fabricated content before it spreads. With AI advancing rapidly, social media platforms, tech companies and users all must work together to mitigate the potential risks while responsibly exploring its creative potential. Implementing clear ethical guidelines will be essential to maintaining trust, especially as the line between fiction and reality blurs further with each AI leap forward.

Until next time,

–Rob and the Innovating with AI team

Innovating with AI

Rob Howard

We help entrepreneurs and executives harness the power of AI.

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