AI image of fake Pentagon explosion sparks stock market confusion

May 23, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

AI image of fake Pentagon explosion sparks stock market confusion

May 23, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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AI image of fake Pentagon explosion sparks stock market confusion

An AI-generated image that showed an explosion near the US Pentagon sparked turbulence earlier this week when it went viral on social media. The image briefly affected the stock market and has highlighted concerns over the potential impact of AI-generated images.

The image itself shows a thick black plume of smoke, alarmingly close to one of the US government buildings. It was allegedly shared across Twitter on verified accounts. The origin of the image remains unclear.

The image caused a brief dip in the stock markets, as investors were slightly panicked. However, the US Department of Defense was quick to confirm that the image was indeed a fake. Despite that reassurance, those 30 minutes actually resulted in a $500 billion swing as the S&P500 fell 30 points.

The fake image that was shared on social media

“There is NO explosion or incident taking place at or near the Pentagon reservation, and there is no immediate danger or hazards to the public,” tweeted the Arlington Fire and EMS Department.

Closer inspection of the building show signs of the image being AI-generated. There are structural irregularities, and the building itself bears little to no resemblance to the actual Pentagon building.

Images such as these have hit the headlines recently, following thousands of people into believing that they are real. Fake images of Trump being arrested and the Pope rocking a white puffer jacket are just a couple of examples.

Google Images has recently recognised the need for greater authentication of images and their origins and are launching a new feature on their image search. The About this Image feature will help users identify whether an image is real or not and if it was generated using AI.

I believe that this will become a more pervasive problem as AI generators become more and more sophisticated. Once again, we need to not believe everything we see on the internet. The implications for disruption are vast.

[Via The Guardian]

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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2 responses to “AI image of fake Pentagon explosion sparks stock market confusion”

  1. Libby Sutherland Avatar
    Libby Sutherland

    As I just wrote in your post about Adobe Firefly, the real and more serious issue is not about fake images, but Which News Agency Got Duped First? And which ones were stupid enough to pick this up? No one has a Washington DC bureau? No one who works in news has a friend who works at the Pentagon? No one verifies anymore, they just push the Publish button. No one will get fired for this even though they should be.

  2. Snowflake Avatar
    Snowflake

    One more reason not to play with the other stock market hypochondriacs.