A fake image of Pope Francis wearing a white puffer coat has gone viral on social media, sparking debate over the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on people’s perceptions of reality.
The image was created by an AI image generator called Midjourney, which can produce realistic images from natural-language prompts. It was posted on Reddit and then shared widely on Twitter and other platforms.
Many users expressed confusion, admiration or amusement over the image, which shows the head of the Catholic Church looking stylish in a long-line puffer coat over his traditional white robes.
“I thought the Pope’s puffer jacket was real and didn’t give it a second thought. No way am I surviving the future of technology,” tweeted model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen.
“The Pope is a fashion icon. Respect the drip,” tweeted far-right influencer Ian Miles Cheong.
Others expressed concern over how realistic the image is and how AI may affect people’s trust in what they see online.
“The fact people find a picture of the Pope in a long puffy jacket thrilling is a good indicator AI is going to have a really easy time destroying humanity,” one Twitter user wrote.
Technology executive and US political adviser Lucy Caldwell tweeted: “PSA that the photo that is making the rounds today of the Pope in a puffy white coat and that is activating many of you is not real.”
The fake Pope image is one of many examples of AI-generated images that have fooled or entertained millions on social media.
In March 2023, former US President Donald Trump’s announcement that he expected to be arrested soon in connection with a hush-money case prompted a flood of fake images on social media showing him being arrested in various scenarios.
Experts have warned that AI-generated images could pose serious challenges for journalism, politics and security, as it could become harder to distinguish truth from fiction.
Henry Ajder, head of communications at Deeptrace, a company that detects deepfakes, told iNews: “We’re seeing an explosion in synthetic media – not just deepfakes but also text generation and voice generation – and it’s becoming easier and easier to create convincing fakes.”
He added: “We need to be aware of this technology and its potential for misuse.”
‘It’s not even real??’: Social media stunned by AI image of Pope Francis wearing stylish puffer coat
An AI-generated image of Pope Francis looking extremely stylish in a large white puffer coat has gone viral on social media as it left viewers in shock and confusion.
Social media users were left stunned after an AI-generated image of Pope Francis, looking dope in a floor-length, white puffer jacket circulated, with many believing the image was real.
AI image of Pope Francis in a puffer jacket fooled the internet and experts fear there’s worse to come
Viral images created by artificial intelligence have already fooled millions on Twitter – and it could soon be even harder to distinguish truth from reality
On March 25, 2023, a photo that appeared to show 86-year-old Pope Francis out and about in a fashionable white puffer jacket went viral on social media.
Have you seen that photo of Pope Francis wearing a gigantic white puffer coat? It’s been going viral on social media platforms like Reddit and Twitter…