On Monday, the “DeSantis War Room” Twitter account posted a video featuring manipulated imagery of Donald Trump embracing and kissing Anthony Fauci on the cheek. The video’s been gaining traction but, according to AFP, while three of the video’s images are verifiably real, another three “have the hallmarks of AI-generated imagery.”
Furthermore, three media forensics experts told AFP the images in question sport the characteristics of AI imagery.
The images are used as part of an ad attempting to portray Donald Trump as a weakling incapable of getting rid of Fauci despite his years hosting “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” wherein he routinely “fired” people.
As for how experts are contrasting real imagery against fake, it’s all in the details. Beyond the fundamentally hard-to-believe nature of imagery such as Trump kissing Fauci on the cheek, the three images being scrutinized as AI-generated are exceptionally glossy (a hallmark of computer-generated renders), unrealistically posed, sport inaccurate background details and feature unexplainable blurs in key details such as Trump’s hair.
However, even with the arguably overwhelming evidence that these images are not real, the experts AFP spoke with struggled to guarantee that there wasn’t a chance the images were, in fact, real. They were confident in their assessments but unwilling to rule out the extraordinarily slim chance these images might have some basis in reality.
That’s the problem with AI-generated and manipulated imagery; without concrete commentary from the depicted parties, there’s no way of knowing for certain — no matter how unrealistic the contents may be. And even then, by the time the affected individuals weigh in to confirm or deny visuals, the AI-produced content’s narrative may have already defined the mainstream narrative.
This sort of truth-altering technology is, at least in part, why AI firms and tech entities want artificial intelligence more closely regulated so that safeguards are in place to prevent an uptick in AI shenanigans triggering something approximating total societal collapse.
Of course, others view such talk as baseless fearmongering and are not afraid of the AI wave.
Representatives for DeSantis and Trump did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.