Is it AI? With the rise of Artificial Intelligence – how can you tell if a photo is fake? –

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Welcome to 2024 – the year where seeing is not believing anymore. In fairness, it has been that way for a while with Photoshop, but messing with a snap took some skill.

Now, anyone with a smartphone can create fake photos, which can be hard to spot.

A royal blunder

Over the weekend, Catherine, Princess of Wales, released a photo of her and her kids to celebrate Mother’s Day in the UK. A few hours later, some media sources that published the photos issued a “kill notice” – citing apparent manipulation. That means the photo should not be used.

The Associated Press noted that “at closer inspection it appears that the source has manipulated the image.

News agencies recall image of Catherine, Princess of Wales, citing manipulation concerns

News agencies recall image of Catherine, Princess of Wales

For her part, Catherine posted on X, saying, “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.”

There’s no specific mention of AI in the royal photo, but what are some of the things you should keep an eye out for when a photo has been created or manipulated by AI?

The devil is in the details

For all of the advancements AI has made when it comes to visuals, there are still some things it really had a hard time with.

Below, I will post a series of AI-generated photos – all for free from my iPhone – and see if you can spot what’s wrong. We will go over some of the indicators below the group of fake images.

AI Generated photo

This photo of a classroom was generated using AI. 

AI Generated photo

An AI generated photo of a person in a coffee shop

AI Generated photo

An AI generated photo of a family 

AI Generated photo

An AI generated photo of a family

AI Generated photo

An AI generated photo of a restaurant 

AI Generated photo

An AI generated photo of a basketball game 

AI Generated photo

An AI generated photo of a basketball game

Turn in your papers

How do you think you did? With AI improvements happening so fast, I’m sure this breakdown will age like fine milk. The things that appear off now may very well be fixed in the near future.

The two big things AI really has a hard time with right now are words and fingers/hands. Yeah, of all things, fingers and hands.

Below, I took my trusty Apple Pencil and graded your tests.

Below each image, I’ll give you a breakdown of the photo.

AI Generated Image

An AI generated image of a classroom 

So, we have a classroom full of kids doing their work. Some look bored, some look busy and others look like they are merging into one another.

Like I said above, look at the hands – and in this photo’s case – the feet. Many of them seem off. I didn’t circle it, but the two boys on the right side – something is for sure off there.

Right behind the two boys, you have the two girls. It looks like when it generated the photo, it merged the two together. You can see both faces, but beyond that – it’s kind of a mess.

Speaking of faces, many of them seem off subtly.

Last, the jumble of text in the background

AI generated image

AI generated image of a person doing work at a coffee shop. 

This one is much easier to miss, and I really only found one stand-out error. His hand.

If you look at the man’s right arm, it is kind of off to the side, but his right hand is directly on the laptop’s keyboard.

AI generated photo

An AI generated photo of a family 

The hands – again. Are you catching on to the theme here? At first glance, this one looks pretty normal. But looking at their hands tells the story.

On mom’s shoulder, you can see a bump, like AI tried to generate another finger for the dad but got kind of confused so just made a big bump instead.

I don’t even know how to describe the hand salad where all of their hands meet – except look at the baby’s. The kid’s right hand is as big as mom and dad’s.

Last, okay, this is me nit-picking, but I took similar photos with my son as a baby. A dad will not partially cover their child’s mouth with their hand.

AI generated image

An AI generated image of a family


AI generated image

An AI generated image of a restaurant

Hey, finally, not hands! This one is an example of the words being jumbled. The red sign is filled with a whole lot of nonsense.

There’s also some weirdness going on with the people in the background – but the image quality was kind of off – so I didn’t circle anything specific.

AI generated image

An AI generated image of a basketball game

Okay sports ball fans – the next two will have you on your toes. This image shows a guy shooting a jumpshot.

First of all, I didn’t catch this until after I uploaded it, so it’s so not circled, but check out that rim and backboard. It’s facing the wrong way, and the placement relative to the court is all the way off. Also, I’m pretty sure that rim isn’t regulation size.

So, look at the faces – all of them, the fans included. Each one is off. The crowd, in fact, is kind of terrorizing.

The jerseys are all a mismatch of team names, with jumbled letters and numbers.

The guy shooting his shot will likely want to get that ankle/foot checked out. That is a pretty wicked bend or twist.

AI generated image

An AI generated image of a basketball game

Okay, last one. We have some action underneath the basket.

As I mentioned above, faces, numbers and jerseys are all odd. We also have a weird backboard/court placement situation again. The fans in the background are too close to the rim – based on the direction the rim is facing.

Speaking of the rim – in the last photo – the ball likely would not have fit. In this one, I’m pretty sure a beach ball could fit through. It appears to be at least double the size it should be.

We thought the guy above had a horrible foot injury. The guy under the basket, his foot is facing the wrong direction.

Also, there’s only one ball is used at a time during a basketball game. The guy on the left is ready to score two, regardless of what happens under the rim.

In conclusion

Currently, there are usually ways to spot a fake AI-generated image. How long will that last? No idea.

There’s a lot going on in the world right now. In the U.S. we are in election season. We have war zones in different parts of the world. The sad fact is a photo might not be worth 1,000 words anymore.

Before taking that viral photo seriously on social media, you must do your due diligence.

For WTHI-TV’s part, on our website, when it comes to news content, the only way we will edit a photo is for very minor color correction. We may also add text over a photo. We would not and have not manipulated an image to change the context or any of the facts surrounding the photo.

This post was originally published on this site

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