• Sat. May 27th, 2023

Immaculate AI images of Pope Francis trick the masses

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Mar 27, 2023

Enlarge / An AI-generated photo of Pope Francis wearing a puffy white coat that went viral on social media. (credit: @skyferrori on Twitter)

Over the weekend, an AI-generated image of Pope Francis wearing a puffy white coat went viral on Twitter, and apparently many people believed it was a real image. Since then, the puffy pontiff has inspired commentary on the deceptive nature of AI-generated images, which are now nearly photorealistic.

The pope image, created using Midjourney v5 (an AI image synthesis model), first appeared in a tweet by a user named Leon (@skyferrori) on Saturday and quickly began circulating as part of other meme tweets featuring similar images as well, including one that humorously speculates about a pope “lifestyle brand.”

Not long after, Twitter attached a reader-added context warning to the tweet that reads, “This is an AI-generated image of Pope Francis. It is not a genuine photo.

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