Artificial Intelligence: From the Red Carpet to the Average Citizen

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become increasingly sophisticated, with the ability to generate strikingly realistic images, online and across social media. The convincing nature of some of these images was highlighted by recent posts about the Met Gala. Numerous celebrities — Katy Perry, Rihanna and Selena Gomez — were “pictured” at the Gala, which they did not attend. In fact, fabricated images of Katy Perry appeared so convincing that Perry’s own mother believed them to be authentic. Though this particular incident may be considered harmless, it showcases the deceptive power of AI and is indicative of a broader issue: AI-generated content spreads rapidly across social media, often faster than it can be fact-checked. These manipulations are not just confusing; they can potentially be used for misinformation, scams and altering public perception of events.

AI-generated misinformation should be of concern not only to celebrities and public figures, for it has the capacity to impact average citizens as well. For instance, Dazhon Darien, a disgruntled employee at a Maryland high school, recently used AI to create a false voice recording of Eric Eiswert, the high school’s principal, making bigoted and antisemitic comments. The recording quickly went viral, leading members of the community to call for Eiswert’s removal. Luckily, the police investigation of the recording revealed that the audio was falsified, and Darien was arrested.

Incidents like these — whether at the Met Gala or in a local community — raise concerns about the misuse of accessible AI tools and underscore the need for legal frameworks to manage and mitigate such abuses effectively.