Photos have been faked and manipulated for nearly as long as photography has existed, but now even experts sometimes struggle to tell whether a photo is real. AI-generated images are used to create artwork, advertise products, and even make music videos. The possibilities of what can be created or enhanced with the help of AI seem endless – and so do the questions about its safety and implications for our society.
Despite these concerns, there is no question that artificial intelligence has opened up a world of new creative opportunities for photographers. From creating realistic pictures from simple sketches to creating stunning visuals without touching an actual camera, AI has transformed photography in ways we never imagined before.
Artificial intelligence is advancing faster than technology that can identify the techniques used to hoax people, leading to concerns about disinformation and political division. The need for more secure ways to track and authenticate digital content is now more urgent than ever. Governments and tech companies are exploring blockchain, facial recognition technology, image-matching databases, watermarks and other methods that could be used to detect fakes.
But the challenge remains daunting: how can we identify fake images without being able to tell a computer what qualifies as real? Part of the answer lies in creating better artificial intelligence technologies that can learn to spot signs of manipulation — but it also involves educating people. Hence, they know when they see something that isn’t true.
On Tuesday, Bill Murray was shown in an image on Reddit as president of the United States. Another image showing Trump marching with American flags in the background quickly spread on Twitter without disclosure. Experts fear that the technology could lead to an erosion of trust in media, government, and society. The technology will likely become more sophisticated and easier to use, potentially enabling anyone, with a few clicks of the mouse, to generate real imagesreal images.
As these tools proliferate and become accessible online, experts say governments and political campaigns could use them to manipulate public opinion or spread lies. They could also be used by criminals or bad actors looking to defraud people or damage reputations. The potential for misuse is immense, prompting calls from some in Congress for tighter regulations on such artificial intelligence applications.
Artificial intelligence allows practically anyone to create complex artwork, like those on display at the Gagosian Gallery in New York, or lifelike images that blur the line between real and fiction. This technology is widely used in marketing and advertising, where brands use A.I.-generated images to create memorable logos, adverts and product packaging. This type of imagery also has its aesthetic — high-definition digital landscapes with a hint of surrealism that many find appealing.
And it can be surprisingly persuasive; research indicates that people find computer-generated content more trustworthy than photographs taken by humans. But the implications for the future of art are far beyond just commerce; A.I.-created works may soon become as respected and appreciated as traditional artwork created by human artists — if not more so.
Chrissy Teigen says the pope’s puffy jacket fooled her, but a newer image shows the pope drinking beer and wearing a wedding band.