AI generated images in a time of war

    It’s one thing user-generated content being circulated around social media for the purposes of disinformation. It’s another thing entirely when Adobe’s stock image marketplace is selling AI-generated ‘photos’ of destroyed buildings in Gaza.

    This article in VICE includes a comment from an Adobe spokesperson who references the Content Authenticity Initiative. But this just puts the problem on the user rather than the marketplace. People looking to download AI-generated images to spread disinformation, don’t care about the CAI, and will actively look for ways to circumvent it.

    Screenshot of Adobe stock images site with AI-generated image titled "Destroyed buildings in Gaza town of Gaza strip in Israel, Affected by war."
    Adobe is selling AI-generated images showing fake scenes depicting bombardment of cities in both Gaza and Israel. Some are photorealistic, others are obviously computer-made, and at least one has already begun circulating online, passed off as a real image.

    As first reported by Australian news outlet Crikey, the photo is labeled “conflict between Israel and palestine generative ai” and shows a cloud of dust swirling from the tops of a cityscape. It’s remarkably similar to actual photographs of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, but it isn’t real. Despite being an AI-generated image, it ended up on a few small blogs and websites without being clearly labeled as AI.


    As numerous experts have pointed out, the collapse of social media and the proliferation of propaganda has made it hard to tell what’s actually going on in conflict zones. AI-generated images have only muddied the waters, including over the last several weeks, as both sides have used AI-generated imagery for propaganda purposes. Further compounding the issue is that many publicly-available AI generators are launched with few guardrails, and the companies that build them don’t seem to care.

    Source: Adobe Is Selling AI-Generated Images of Violence in Gaza and Israel | VICE