Who'd have thought that most terrifying example of AI art yet would involve the Pope wearing a big coat? It certainly wasn't on our 2023 bingo sheet, but here we are – and it seems pretty much everyone online fell for the hoax.
What's scary isn't the image itself (it's pretty funny), but how realistic it is. Not only does it genuinely look like Pope Francis is wearing an extremely stylish white puffer coat, but his hands look real too. Yep, AI has truly conquered its biggest weakness.
OKAAYYY pic.twitter.com/MliHsksX7LMarch 25, 2023
The photo (above) has enjoyed over 28M views on Twitter, and of course has been marked with the obligatory context note: 'This is an AI-generated image of Pope Francis. It is not a genuine photo.' But what a photo it is: Pope Francis striding purposefully along in a practically inflatable white puffer, presumably on his way back from the studio after recording his debut mixtape.
And judging by the comments on Twitter, the sheer realism of Puffer Pope has users feeling shook. "Just found out that this photo is AI. Guys we’re so finished, there’s literally no way of knowing what’s real or fake anymore," one comments, while another adds, "This is the first AI image that actually fooled me. I'm scared."
Is no one else worried about how this photo is AI generated and yet no one noticed? https://t.co/il9nOCCH03March 25, 2023
From women losing it over salad to that haunting recurring character, we've seen plenty of terrifying examples of AI generated imagery lately – but this might be the first time something has fooled the internet quite so collectively. No wonder Adobe is so keen for users to help it 'do the right thing' with AI art.