AI Generated Images Shake The Stock Market

A fake image and video that apparently shows an explosion near the Pentagon raises concerns about Artificial Intelligence’s (AI) ability to produce misinformation. Dozens of verified accounts, including national news organisations, shared images that shows black smoke billowing up from the ground next to a white building. 

The fake images of an explosion were most likely created using AI tools and caused a brief market slump in the NYSE and other stock markets. US officials later confirmed that no such incident had occurred.

Open source intelligence investigators at Bellingcat, a social media verification group, were quick to point out some notable problems with the image. Not least that the building in the image looks noticeably different from the Pentagon - which can easily be verified by using tools like Google Street View to compare the two images.

There were no other firsthand witnesses to corroborate the event, especially in a busy area like the Pentagon. Other details include an odd-looking floating lamp post and black pole protruding from the pavement were another giveaway that the image was not what it seemed. “This is why it’s so difficult (I’d argue effectively impossible) to create a believable fake of such an event,” a Belligcat investigator Nick Waters tweeted.  

There are several generative AI tools including Midjourney, Dall-e 2 and Stable Diffusion that can create life-like images , yet AI evidently still has a difficult time recreating locations without introducing random artefacts

These tools are trained by looking at large volumes of real images but fill in the gaps with their own interpretation when training data is missing. This can result in people having extra limbs and objects that are morphed with their surroundings.

Always look for clues in the image like nearby landmarks, road signs and even the weather conditions to help you place where or when the purported event could have taken place.

YouTube:      Bellingcat:    Nick Waters:     Al Jazeera:      Daily Mail:     News Australia:     Independent

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