We should probably expect to see a lot more of this.
Livin' on a Prayer
As America's upcoming election cycle continues to take shape, one thing's for sure: fans of former president and current presidential candidate Donald Trump love themselves some image generators, and they're not afraid to use 'em. Trump, in fact, isn't afraid to hit the share button on AI-generated fan art of himself, either.
Amid the Trump-stirred frenzy surrounding the former president's allegedly-imminent arrest, number 45 himself decided yesterday morning to take to his social media platform, Truth Social, to post a fairly lifelike — but almost certainly AI-generated — image of himself taking a knee beneath a ray of heavenly light to pray, presumably for himself to not be arrested.
The fake image, as Forbes reports, has been circulating on pro-Trump social media since at least the weekend, when similarly AI-generated images depicting Trump being arrested also began circulating in the same digital circles. Naturally.
— Matt Novak (@paleofuture) March 23, 2023
While the rendering in question is pretty lifelike, there are a few dead giveaways that it's very likely AI-made.
Zoom in on the hands, and you'll notice that some of the fingers are curiously mushed together, with the former prez's right pinky looking especially, uh, nonexistent. Trump's right knee is also directly behind his back knee, and not off to the side. (Don't know about you, but we've never met a 76-year-old with that level of hip mobility.)
And lastly, there are some other "people" in the background of the image, but all of them look decidedly disinterested in the former POTUS. They're all either looking at their phones or looking away, and we can't imagine that if any president, in the middle of any room, took a knee to pray in a ray of golden, glowing Jesus light, everyone would probably pay at least a bit of attention. Or at least snap a selfie with such a choice backdrop.
Onward, We Guess
Giveaways aside, though, the "photo" is still impressive, and a lot of people, particulary older and less technologically savvy folks, might not be able to tell the difference.
Of course, fan art has always existed, and fans can technically make and share whatever they want. But this specific — and quite new, at least in terms of ease and accessibility — type of hyperrealistic and easily-generated AI imagery sits dangerously on the line between fan art and misinformation, especially considering that the former president in question shared the hype-y photo while actively contributing to a swell of fury and excitement over something that hasn't even happened. And, of course, without marking the image as bot-generated.
Welp. Cheers to 2024.
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