DeSantis campaign posts fake video of Trump hugging Fauci on social media

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign released a video on social media that appears to use artificial intelligence-generated imagery to show former President Donald Trump hugging Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The images were included in a video posted Monday that first shows Trump as host of the reality TV show “The Apprentice” firing people and then cuts to sound bites of the former president praising Fauci and explaining why he couldn’t fire the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. At one point, the audio is played over images of Trump and Fauci, including several in which the two appear hugging. The words “Real Life Trump” are superimposed over the images.

However, some of the images have the hallmarks of AI-generated content. None of those images matched a reverse Google image search. In one of the images, which purportedly shows Trump and Fauci embracing in the White House briefing room, the letters on the wall are jumbled, indicating that the image was created by an AI program. Trump and Fauci also appear somewhat caricatured in these images.

Hany Farid, a digital forensics expert and professor at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, agreed that the images in the ad were generated by AI, and pointed to the nonsensical text in the image purportedly from the briefing room.

“This type of semantic inconsistency remains a weakness of generative AI,” Farid says. However, these problems will eventually be solved, and generative AI images can be expected to become increasingly difficult to distinguish from reality.” This is not the first use of generative AI in the upcoming elections, and it certainly won’t be the last. Fasten your seat belts.”

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