Friday June 21, 2024

AI-generated image of explosion near Pentagon causes dip in US stocks

The viral image confirms potential use of AI to spread misinformation with unpleasant consequences

By Web Desk
May 22, 2023
The photo shows an aerial view of Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. — AFP/File
The photo shows an aerial view of Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. — AFP/File

An alleged AI-generated photo depicting a faux explosion near the Pentagon that went viral on Monday, spreading confusion among social media users, prompted a brief dip in the US stock market, The New York Post reported.

The forged photo was shared by Russian media outlet and various other accounts, claiming that an explosion had occurred outside the Pentagon, but was deleted later.

Following the spread of this fake news, the Arlington County Fire Department took to Twitter to immediately disprove the disinformation.

“@PFPAOfficial and the ACFD are aware of a social media report circulating online about an explosion near the Pentagon,” the tweet said. “There is NO explosion or incident taking place at or near the Pentagon reservation, and there is no immediate danger or hazards to the public.”

Moreover, the disinformation, for a brief moment caused a drop in the US stock market but instantly stabilized as soon as the news was verified to be fake.

Some sharp-eyed social media users were quick to notice the use of AI technology and did not believe the news right away.

Previously, tech billionaire, Elon Musk, along with multiple other experts, insisted to halt the development of advanced AI for six months until “proper safety guidelines were in place”, as they already mentioned the likely use of AI for misinformation.

There can be many more uncontrollable risks of AI that have been mentioned by experts.

Even Dr Geoffrey Hinton, “Godfather of AI,” resigned from Google last month so that he could speak about the technology’s potential risks without causing any harm to the company he worked for.

He further warned of a more dangerous future for the technology saying that “bad actors” misusing it for “bad things”.