Fake image of Pentagon explosion briefly goes viral
A fake image of an explosion at the Pentagon briefly went viral and sent markets down ten minutes on Monday, fueling fresh talk that generative AI could spell trouble for society.
The image, which many observers suspected to be from artificial intelligence, was released by multiple accounts, prompting the Pentagon to comment that there was no such explosion.
MANY PEOPLE POSTING ABOUT ‘EXPLOSION NEAR THE PENTAGON’
THIS IS CLEARLY AN AI GENERATED IMAGE COME ON PEOPLE DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE pic.twitter.com/VShvtEE4sK
— GURGAVIN (@gurgavin) May 22, 2023
“We can confirm that this was a false report and that the Pentagon was not attacked today,” a spokesperson said.
The Arlington, Va., Fire Department also responded by posting on social media that there was no explosion or incident at or near the Pentagon.
The incident follows other occurrences of fake images that have also created buzz recently on the internet, including the arrest of former US President Donald Trump and Pope Francis in a puffer jacket.
The first tweet found by AFP sharing the Pentagon image came from an account promoting QAnon that had previously shared misinformation, although the original source of the image is unknown.
Emerging generative AI technologies make it easier for non-specialists to create compelling images in moments, instead of needing the expertise to use programs like Photoshop.
The shared image sent markets shaking for a few minutes, with the S&P 500 stumbling 0.29% from its Friday close before recovering.
“There was a drop likely related to this fake news when the (trading) machines picked it up, but I would say the magnitude of the drop was inconsistent with the seemingly bad nature of the fake news,” Pat said. O’Hare. from Briefing.com.
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