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Seeing is Believing? Not So Fast! Tips to Spot AI-Generated Images

A written sticky note showing "Quick Tips"

A written sticky note showing "Quick Tips" by artursz, 123RF

Let's set the stage with a recent example of a rather explosive image, or rather a fake image, of an explosion near the Pentagon. The picture was created by an AI image generator, shared widely, and swiftly debunked. It's just one instance of many where the public is duped by artificial intelligence (AI) conjured images that look uncannily real. Here at 123RF, we not only embrace the power of AI, but we also value the ethics of its use. Today, we want to equip you with some tools to help you distinguish between AI-generated art and real images.

As the era of AI-created images is in full swing, it's essential to know what signs to look for, to differentiate an AI-created image from a real one. Here's your quick guide to help you see through the ruse.

Find the Misfits:

A woman's hand coming out of a hole

A woman's hand coming out of a hole by surgay, 123RF

AI tools like Midjourney, Dall-e, and Stable Diffusion can churn out impressive, lifelike images. However, they can also add quirky details when filling gaps in the training data, like a misplaced floating lamp post or a misshapen object. In people, you may notice extra limbs or unusual hand postures. Your first clue is to look for these anomalies.

Check the Source:

Dices with letters forming the word "sources"

Dices with letters forming the word "sources" by michaeljayfoto, 123RF

Investigate the uploader's history. Does their location align with the location of the event in the photo? Who are they following and who follows them? If it's an AI-generated art piece, is there a mention of an AI image generator?

Search for Multiple Viewpoints:

Photography images on a tablet

Photography images on a tablet by rawpixel, 123RF

Real-world events are usually documented from multiple angles by different people. If you see a photo of a significant event but find no other corroborating images, it's time to get suspicious.

Utilize Tools:

Shot of hands holding tools and a laptop

Shot of hands holding tools and a laptop by lightfieldstudios, 123RF

Google Image or TinEye are fantastic tools for a reverse image search. You can upload a picture to determine where and when it was first used. If it's AI-generated art, the results will give you a heads up.

Analyze the Picture:

A person analyzing picture on a computer

A person analyzing picture on a computer by andreypopov, 123RF

Look for identifying features like landmarks, road signs, or weather conditions. If these elements seem out of place, you might be looking at an AI-created image.

Check the Eyes and Hands:

A closeup shot of a person's eye

A closeup shot of a person's eye by vicu9, 123RF

AI often has trouble accurately portraying the nuances of human behavior. Look closely at people's eyes and hands. Inconsistent blinking or awkward grasping of objects are telltale signs of a deepfake AI image.

Here at 123RF, we leverage AI to benefit our users. Our AI Image Generator designed to inspire creativity, not spread misinformation. It's a powerful tool that can transform your ideas into visual stories. It's intuitive, easy-to-use, and perfect for creating eye-catching content for social media, blog posts, and more.

Yet, with great power comes great responsibility. We encourage you to use AI in your creative endeavors responsibly. Creating AI-generated images can be a fun and innovative way to express yourself, but remember, spreading false news or misinformation is no laughing matter.

In this AI-driven era, being a smart consumer of digital content is as crucial as being a responsible creator. Keep these tips in mind next time you're scrolling through photos, and let's continue to enjoy the incredible, and ethical, possibilities that AI offers.

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