MAGA supporters release AI-generated fakes of Trump with black voters

Meanwhile Google Search rises to crack down on mass-produced AI-generated imagery.

Artificial intelligence-assisted manipulations for political and electoral purposes were predicted many years ago, and the release of the first fabricated pictures of the Republican candidate courting voters means those predictions have become a reality.

Fake photos of Donald Trump alongside smiling Black people, which MAGA supporters posted on the social media Facebook and X (former Twitter), two most tolerant platforms towards propaganda and disinformation, are intended to shore up support among Black community voters, especially among the young.

Although these pictures contain visible signs of AI generation — mushy, strange or missing body parts – many users believed they were genuine photographs, leaving positive comments.

It’s hard to say whether the pictures were commissioned or made by the Trump campaign, or who are the users expressing their sympathy for the former president – and how many of them are humans and bots.

The Trump camp, however, did not object to employing the AI technology to attract Democrat-leaning Black voters - in spite of Trump’s well-documented history of racism and misogyny regarding minorities and immigrants.

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Asked by users why they posted fake images, the authors defend themselves by replying that “they are beautiful” or “I’m not claiming they are accurate,” as if such thinking should absolve them from responsibility.

While Facebook and X are slow in combatting the AI-manipulations targeting elections, Google announced on its blog this week that it overhauled its spam policies for search, introducing changes designed to reduce "low-quality, unoriginal content in search results" by a 40%. 

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The move is a response to the growing number of mass-produced AI-generated content filling the internet, polluting and eroding the quality of the giant’s search engine. AI-made images, for example, have climbed to the top of Google rankings, replacing real images of real people, confusing historical facts, and distorting events.

Google's amended spam policy says the crackdown will focus heavily on toxic AI content. Whether the content generated with the help of its own AI tool Bard falls under this category remains to be seen.

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