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28 Mar, 2023
2 min time to read

Viral AI-generated images of the pope in a white puffy jacket highlight the challenge of distinguishing real from fake in the future.

AI-generated images have become increasingly popular in recent years, and a recent example of such images going viral is a picture of the Pope wearing a trendy puffy jacket. The image was first posted on the online forum Midjourney, which is known for its AI image generator. However, it wasn't long before the picture spread to other social media platforms like Twitter, where it became the subject of memes and debunking efforts. It eventually caught the attention of celebrity Chrissy Teigen, whose tweet about the image was indicative of its mainstream status.

Despite the image being fake, it managed to capture the attention of many social media users who were fooled by its convincing appearance. The picture contained several telltale signs of AI generation, including smeared details and unrealistic physical interactions. However, its realism was still impressive enough to fool many people, and its popularity speaks to the increasing sophistication of AI-generated images.

What makes this particular image stand out, however, is the alignment of subject and aesthetic that made it so successful. The Pope is a well-known figure who is often associated with Italian fashion, and images of him wearing stylish clothing are not uncommon. This made it easier for the AI image generator to create a convincing image of the Pope wearing a trendy jacket. Additionally, the Pope's celebrity status made the image more believable, as people are more likely to accept images of famous figures as real.

The image's aesthetic is also noteworthy, as it falls within a category of AI-generated images that can be described as hyperrealism. This style is characterized by perfect lighting, dramatic poses, and saturated colors, and it is often associated with celebrity images. The fact that many AI image generators are trained on images of celebrities makes it easier to create convincing images of famous figures in hyperrealistic style.

Overall, the success of the swag Pope image demonstrates the potential of AI-generated images to fool people into believing they are real. However, it also suggests that there are limits to what AI fakes are currently capable of achieving. As AI continues to advance, it will be interesting to see how these limits evolve, and how AI-generated images will continue to be shared and spread online.