An online content creator has created AI-produced images of former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump “cheating” on their wives by kissing men. The creator did this to demonstrate how AI technology can create political misinformation to affect future election outcomes.
Justin T. Brown, a pro-LGBTQ+ satirist who has made numerous videos and social media posts mocking right-wing queerphobes, used Midjourney AI (an art-generating program) to create realistic images of politicians cheating on their wives. Brown called the series “AI will revolutionize the blackmail industry.”
They really don’t deserve to look this good.
“An AI disinfo campaign just before election day could definitely swing an election,” Brown wrote via Twitter. “The right AI images or video at the right time could tank the market, cause a riot, or send someone into a pizza shop with a gun.”
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His mention of someone entering a “pizza shop with a gun” is a reference to a December 2016 incident in which an armed man entered Comet Ping Pong, a gay-owned D.C. pizzeria. The man was convinced by a QAnon “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory that Democratic Party leaders were sexually abusing and trafficking children in the pizzeria’s non-existent basement.
“Honestly, these images don’t even have to be THAT high-quality to be believable,” Brown added. “QAnon was founded on the worst memes you’ve ever seen; they’re borderline religious texts now. I think we’ll see AI videos of Democrats and children within a year or 2.”
Honesty, these images don’t even have to be THAT high-quality to be believable. QAnon was founded on the worst memes you’ve ever seen; they’re borderline religious texts now. I think we’ll see AI videos of Democrats and children within a year or 2— JustinTBrown (@JuuustinBrown) May 26, 2023
Obama cheating on his wife: pic.twitter.com/QrKogpBfDs
While Midjourney AI and similar image-generators have “safeguards” in place to help prevent users from creating similarly misleading images, Brown said it’s possible to circumvent these safeguards by typing in “creative prompting or repeated requests” to the program until it outputs a desired image.
Brown isn’t alone in his fear of AI technology possibly being used in negative ways. Trump has already shared AI-generated “deepfake” videos mocking gay CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and political rival Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Even Sam Altman, the gay CEO of the massively influential artificial intelligence (AI) company OpenAI, has warned that AI needs to be regulated or else it could “cause significant harm to the world.”