It is the ultra-realistic tech sweeping social media – with ‘paparazzi’ pictures of celebrities often believed to be genuine.
Many people are shocked, and a little disturbed, to find out that images they think are real have in fact been made by a computer.
AI-generated images have exploded in recent months, whether it be celebrities reimagined as pensioners or entire exhibitions dedicated to computer-made artwork – much to the fury of human artists.
But can you spot the difference between what’s real and what’s fake?
Take MailOnline’s quiz to see if you can tell which pictures are genuine and which are AI-generated…
1. Donald Trump arrested
In this image, former President of the United States Donald Trump looks like he is trying to run away while being arrested by police officers
2. Elon Musk dating rival motor company CEO
An image appears to show Tesla CEO Elon Musk holding hands with rival General Motors CEO Mary Barra
3. Supermodel Bella Hadid becomes a bald robot
Supermodel Bella Hadid, 26, is seen posing as a bald robot in a futuristic image – where metal piping appears to come out of her back
4. Pope Francis opts for oversized puffer jacket
In this image, 86-year-old Pope Francis switches up his style and instead of the usual robe, opts for a white, oversized puffer jacket
5. Britney Spears ‘s floating necklace
Paris Hilton poses with Britney Spears and Cade Hudson in a snap which appears to show Spears’s necklace only attached by one chain
6. Tom Cruise and his stunt doubles
In this picture, actor Tom Cruise, known for taking on action movie roles, poses with his stunt doubles
7. Rita Ora’s reptile face
In this next picture, pop star Rita Ora appears to have skin-coloured reptilian features on her face
8. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks the runway
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg struts down the runway, sporting a pink glittery bomber jacket and matching trousers, paired with pink trainers, a black under jacket and sunglasses
9. Billionaire Elon Musk as a toddler
Tesla and X CEO Elon Musk is pictured as a toddler, wearing a white shirt under brown trousers with braces attached
10. Former President Donald Trump’s mugshot
Former President of the United States Donald Trump is pictured posing for a mugshot, with a stamp saying ‘Fulton County Sheriff’s Office’
Which ones did you get right?
1. This picture is fake! An AI-generated image of Donald Trump trying to run away while being arrested by police was posted on Twitter in March with the caption: ‘Making pictures of Trump getting arrested while waiting for Trump’s arrest.’
2. This picture is fake! This image of Tesla CEO Elon Musk walking hand in hand with Mary Barra, the CEO of rival car company General Motors, was generated by AI. After the image was posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, as a ‘breaking’ story, Musk replied saying he would ‘never wear that outfit’.
3. This picture is real! Supermodel Bella Hadid was transformed into a bald robot for a futuristic fashion campaign for designer Marc Jacobs. In this picture, Hadid poses nude and bald, wearing only a sculptural silver ear cuff with metal piping snaked around her. The fashion firm’s Heaven by Marc Jacobs Fall ’23 campaign was shot by Carlijn Jacobs and styled by Danielle Emerson.
4. This picture is fake! An image of Pope Francis donning a white puffer jacket instead of the usual robe circulated on social media, but though many people believed it to be real, it was in fact AI-generated. The viral image was created by Pablo Xavier, a 31-year-old man from Chicago, using Midjourney – an artificial intelligence image generator.
5. This picture is real! After posting a picture of herself, Britney Spears and Cade Hudson on Instagram, Paris Hilton had to refute theories that the image was fake. Fans were convinced of this as Britney’s necklace appeared to be floating with only one chain. In a follow-up comment ‘to all of those asking’, Paris said the picture was taken on iPhone making it look blurry and then edited on an app called Remini to correct that, but that sometimes the AI ‘distorts the images’. ‘Didn’t want to even dignify this with a response,’ she added. ‘But some of these conspiracy theories are absolutely ridiculous.’
6. This picture is fake! Despite being known for playing characters which carry out daring acts in action movies, this picture of Tom Cruise and his stunt doubles is an AI-generated image. Cruise does all of his own stunts.
7. This picture is real! Walking the red carpet for the 2022 British Fashion Awards, singer Rita Ora sported striking reptilian facial prosthetics that closely mirrored her skin tone, as well as bleached eyebrows.
8. This picture is fake! Many were surprised to see that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg had made the move to catwalk modelling, but an image circulating on social media of the tech boss walking a runway kitted out in a glittery pink outfit was in fact AI-generated, using Midjourney image generator.
9. This picture is fake! An image of Elon Musk as a toddler wearing brown overalls made waves on social media but rather than being from the billionaire’s family archives, it was in fact AI-generated. The picture was captioned ‘Elon Musk was reportedly working on some anti-aging formula, but it got way out of hand’ which warranted a reply from Musk himself saying ‘Guys, I think I maybe took too much’.
10. This picture is real! Much to the shock of many on social media, the mugshot of Donald Trump released by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office on August 24 was actually real. Trump was photographed for the police mugshot after his arrest.
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