Hoax-whore Ron DeSantis took a break from duping migrants this week to dupe his own voters instead with AI-generated photos of Donald Trump. Because of all the many low-hanging fruits dangling from the twice-indicted former president's garden of flaws to choose from, what could be worse in the mind of Florida's anti-science bigot-in-chief than to instead choose fake photos of Trump hugging Dr. Anthony Fauci?
Labeled as "Real Life Trump," the collage of images — half that are reported to be doctored — are part of a DeSantis campaign video ad that the perverse, "Don't Say Gay" governor had whipped up, which were then shared on his War Room Twitter account on Monday. (See images in commentary video below, posted by Brian Krassenstein.)
"It was sneaky to intermix what appears to be authentic photos with fake photos, but these three images are almost certainly AI-generated," Many Ford, a digital forensics expert and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told AFP.
The three other photos — top left, bottom center, and bottom right — appear to be AI-generated and all show Fauci and Trump hugging. Two of the fake images show Trump kissing Fauci's face.
From Ars Technica:
As reported by AFP yesterday, media forensics experts say the images, which the DeSantis ad passed off as photographs taken during Trump's presidency, have telltale signs of AI. Even non-experts may notice oddities, such as incomprehensible text on a sign that should say "White House" and "Washington." …
The DeSantis video advertisement released Monday slams Trump for not firing Fauci. About halfway through, there is a collage of six images (seen at the top of this article) of Trump and Fauci.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the top-left and bottom-middle pictures are fakes," V.S. Subrahmanian, an AI researcher and professor of computer science at Northwestern University, told Ars today. "As pointed out in the AFP piece, the top-left image shows incorrect lettering on the picture of the White House. The bottom-middle image shows a number of weird white streaks between the stars in the US flag."
As some people pointed out, Trump's hair looks unnatural in the images. Ars Technica AI and Machine Learning Reporter Benj Edwards told me today that he noticed, among other problems, a "lack of detail in the hair. AI synthesis models are still bad at rendering accurate details and better at getting general things approximately correct." …
The fake images in the DeSantis ad were relatively easy to detect but it will become increasingly difficult to spot fakes over time, James O'Brien, a University of California, Berkeley professor of computer science, told Ars.
Front page thumbnail image: Leonard Zhukovsky / shutterstock.com