- by cnn
- 01 Oct 2023
The presidential campaign for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis released a video on social media that appears to use images generated by artificial intelligence to depict former President Donald Trump hugging Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The images were included in a video posted Monday that first shows Trump as host of the reality TV show "The Apprentice" firing people and then pivots to sound bites of Trump praising Fauci and explaining why he could not fire the former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. At one point, the audio is laid over pictures of Trump and Fauci, including several of the two men appearing to embrace. The words "Real Life Trump" are transposed over the images.
Some of the images, however, carry the hallmarks of AI-generated content. None of those pictures yielded a match through a Google reverse image search. In one picture, purportedly of Trump and Fauci clutching one another in the White House briefing room, the lettering on the wall is jumbled, a sign that the image was created using an AI program. Trump and Fauci also look somewhat cartoonish in those pictures.
Hany Farid, a digital forensic expert and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Information, agreed that the images in the ad were AI-generated, noting the nonsensical text in the image supposedly from the briefing room.
"This type of semantic inconsistency is still a weakness of generative AI," Farid said. "These problems, however, will eventually get resolved and we can expect generative-AI images to become increasingly more difficult to distinguish from reality. This is not the first use of generative AI in the upcoming election, and it certainly won't be the last. Buckle up."
A person with the DeSantis campaign told CNN that the video was a social media post, not a paid advertisement, and pointed out that members of Trump's team had also used fake or doctored images in the past.
On Thursday afternoon, Twitter appended a community note to the post - a contributor-led feature to highlight misinformation on the social media platform - alerting the site's users that in the video "3 still shots showing Trump embracing Fauci are AI generated images. The remainder of the ad's recordings and images are authentic."
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