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The Pope in a down jacket, Emmanuel Macron in demonstration... how to recognize images generated by AI


From DALL-E to Midjourney via Stable Diffusion, the tools capable of generating realistic shots are multiplying, even if it means misleading Internet users.

The image of the pope strolling in a state-of-the-art white down jacket will not have escaped anyone.

Widely broadcast on social networks last weekend, this surprising visual challenged Internet users.

In reality, it is an image created from scratch by the Midjourney software.

This artificial intelligence can generate any type of visual from a request written by the Internet user.

All the user needs is a few keywords and here is Donald Trump suddenly decked out in a construction helmet or Emmanuel Macron in the middle of a demonstration.

In addition to Midjourney, the DALL-E and Stable Diffusion platforms are also capable of generating images.

These fake photos, whose level of realism skyrockets over the months, tend to mislead Internet users.

Midjourney has therefore decided to ban the word “


” from its software.

At the origin of this choice, a series of photos illustrating the fictitious arrest of Donald Trump which was generated by a British journalist.

The latter relayed the fifty images created by Midjourney in a Twitter thread, causing confusion among Internet users.

The former president of the United States has already taken up these tools.

He posted a fake photo of himself praying on his social network Truth Social in recent days.

Observing hands and textures

There are tricks to spotting these AI-generated images.

It is necessary to observe the contents carefully.

Often, there are badly done details, such as the hands for example or the grain of the photo, which gives it a flat texture

”, explains to Figaro Tina Nikoukhah, doctor in image processing at the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris-Saclay.

This software often generates asymmetries: the faces can be disproportionate, the hair difficult to imitate.

Eye color is often wrong.

For example, in the photos of Emmanuel Macron in demonstration, he has brown or black eyes and not blue as in reality.

In this fake photo of Emmanuel Macron in protest, generated by Midjourney software, his face is distorted and his eyes are brown.

The textures are dark and give a flat feel to the shot.

Looking in the background, there are other inconsistencies, such as the crooked face and the poorly materialized arm of the young man behind Emmanuel Macron, on the right of the image.


Another photo released in February, of a Greek firefighter carrying a Turkish child, was quickly deemed fake: the firefighter holding the child counted six fingers.


In some photos, you can see inconsistencies in the shadows too

," says the researcher.

This is the case of the fake shot of Donald Trump praying, whose textures are extremely dark.

In addition, the Forbes newspaper explains that Donald Trump's right hand is missing the ring finger and his thumbs are not naturally grafted.

Thus, zooming in on the hands, counting the fingers and observing the textures of the photo seems to be a first solution.


However, these errors will be quickly corrected, if they have not already been corrected

", warns the researcher.

By zooming in on the fake photo of Donald Trump praying, it is possible to see that his ring finger is missing from his right hand and that the thumbs are materialized.


In a Twitter thread, AFP also explained how to do a reverse search on Google to find the origin of a snapshot.

Such a search can make it possible to discover whether an Internet user has generated, from one of the popular software, an image that circulates on social networks.

The agency also recalls that the DALL-E software generates a slight multicolored bar on the right corner of the photos it creates.

Another simple trick to be able to detect them.

In this photo generated by DALL-E, on the right, it is possible to see the small multicolored bar characteristic of the images of the software.


The falsification of images is not new, it just got easier

,” insists Tina Nikoukhah.


You have to keep the reflex to look at the quality of the shot, the details and its consistency


For the researcher, the ideal solution would be to generalize to all software the obligation to affix a watermark to their images, so as to warn Internet users that they are generated by artificial intelligence.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-28

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