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### Unveiling AI’s Role in Israel’s Clash with Hamas

Real or fake? Images generated by artificial intelligence have become a disinformation tool in the …

How do artificial intelligence (AI) generated fake stories operate, and what is their risk level?

The functionality of fabricated narratives generated through artificial intelligence (AI) is a topic of interest, particularly concerning the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. DW’s analysis sheds light on this matter.

1) Understanding the Mechanism of AI-Driven Image Fabrication:

In contemporary times, AI applications have permeated various domains, including wartime scenarios. The evolution of AI generators now allows individuals to create images that initially appear authentic using tools like Midjourney or Dall-E.

To generate such images, users input prompts containing specific details and data into these platforms. Subsequently, the AI algorithms translate these inputs into visual representations. This process relies on machine learning algorithms.

For example, if prompted to depict a 70-year-old man riding a bicycle, the AI generator will scan its database to match the description with suitable images, thereby creating a visual representation of the elderly cyclist. These AI tools continually enhance their capabilities through ongoing learning and sophisticated updates.

This phenomenon extends to images portraying the Middle East conflict, where AI-generated visuals often aim to evoke strong emotional responses to advance particular narratives, as noted by AI expert Hany Farid.

2) Assessment of AI-Generated Images in the Israel-Hamas Conflict:

Despite the rapid advancements in AI technology post-Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the proliferation of AI-generated images in the Israel-Hamas conflict has not been as pronounced as anticipated. Experts suggest that while some instances exist, the prevalence of AI-manipulated visuals in this conflict remains limited compared to the dissemination of outdated images and misinformation.

Tomasso Canetta from the European Digital Media Observatory highlights that while AI-generated images are present in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict, their impact is not as significant as other forms of misinformation.

3) Analysis of AI-Driven Narratives in the Israel-Hamas Conflict:

AI-generated images circulating on social media platforms often evoke intense emotions among viewers. These visuals typically fall into two categories: those emphasizing civilian suffering to evoke empathy and those exaggerating support for either side of the conflict to appeal to patriotic sentiments.

Detecting AI-generated images involves identifying common anomalies such as distorted features, irregularities in body proportions, or unrealistic visual elements. These discrepancies can help discern between authentic and AI-manipulated visuals.

4) Origin and Distribution of AI-Generated Images:

AI-manipulated images are predominantly disseminated on personal social media accounts, both genuine and fictitious. Additionally, editorial products may incorporate AI-generated visuals, sparking debates within the media industry regarding the ethical usage of such content.

Platforms like Adobe have introduced AI-generated images into their stock photo collections, raising concerns about the transparent labeling and appropriate attribution of these visuals. The inadvertent use of AI-generated images without proper identification poses challenges in maintaining the authenticity of visual narratives.

5) Impact and Controversy Surrounding AI-Driven Content:

The proliferation of AI-generated content has heightened user skepticism towards online information due to the potential for manipulated visuals. The ability to alter images, audio, and videos using AI technologies blurs the line between fact and fiction, leading to widespread uncertainty among audiences.

Instances like the dissemination of an alleged AI-generated image depicting the aftermath of the Israel-Hamas conflict underscore the challenges in verifying the authenticity of visual content. While AI detectors serve as valuable tools in identifying AI-generated content, they are not foolproof and require human verification for accurate assessment.

In conclusion, the utilization of AI in creating deceptive narratives poses significant challenges in discerning between genuine and manipulated content, necessitating a cautious approach in interpreting visual information, especially in sensitive contexts like armed conflicts.

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Last modified: February 27, 2024
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