Adobe caught out profiting from fake AI generated images

Adobe caught out profiting from fake AI generated images

Software giant Adobe has been caught selling AI-generated images of the Israel-Hamas war, at first spotted by Australian news outlet Crikey, a shocking and morally reprehensible instance of a company directly profiting from the spread of misinformation online. And the biggest problem? They are being used online to illustrate the conflict.

People searching Adobe Stock are shown a blend of real and AI-generated images. Like “real” stock images, some are clearly staged, whereas others can seem like authentic, unstaged photography Crikey reported recently. Online publications are also using these photos without attribution.

A quick search on the company’s Adobe Stock website — a service that offers subscription customers access to a library of generic stock images and now AI-shots as well — for “conflict between Israel and Palestine” or the key words Israel, Palestine, Gaza and Hamas comes up with photorealistic images of explosions in high-density urban environments that closely resemble the real-life carnage currently unfolding in the area.

While they’re technically tagged as being “generated with AI,” a requirement for all user-submitted works, some of these images are already making their rounds on other parts of the web, as Crikey found, which could easily mislead unsuspecting members of the public.

AI image generators like OpenAI’s DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney have made massive technological leaps over the last 12 months.

AI Generated image of Mary and Joseph

Another image that is now doing the rounds of the internet is an AI generated photo of Mary and Joseph in the war torn area. This is obviously fake, but illustrates a pertinent point about displaced people in the lead up to Christmas that many are sharing. Apparently if we are to believe social media, it was generated with the prompt “AI, show me Christmas 2023.”

“Once the line between truth and fake is eroded, everything will become fake,” Wael Abd-Almageed, a professor at the University of Southern California’s school of engineering, told the Washington Post last year. “We will not be able to believe anything.”


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