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Do you know how to tell if a photo is fake ? Many Internet users fail

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You are often fooled by fake images of people online ? You are very far from being the only ones. In any case, this is what we can learn from a study carried out by scientists from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Internet users struggle to distinguish true from false

To see more clearly, the researchers recruited 260 participants to whom they showed twenty images . Ten of them showed real people retrieved from Google images, the other ten had been generated via the DALL-E or Stable Diffusion image generators.

A major surprise awaited the authors, since only 61% of respondents were able to tell the difference between the two. A level much lower than what scientists expected: 85%.

Andreea Pocol, the main author of this research emphasizes: “People are not as skilled at making the distinction as&#8217 ;they think so”. These results are all the more worrying as the participants took their time to observe the details in these photos, without always obtaining conclusive results. However, as the researcher points out: “People who just do doomscrolling or who don't have the time won't notice not these clues”.

She highlights the possible political impact of these tools:

Disinformation is not new, but disinformation tools have constantly changed and evolved. It may come to a point where people, regardless of their training, will always have difficulty differentiating real images from fake ones. This is why we must develop tools to identify and counter this phenomenon. It's like a new arms race in artificial intelligence.

AI flaws

AI, although improving, still has some flaws. In particular, they have difficulty representing hands, as we explained to you last year. Why ? These models are trained with data where hands are less visible than faces and not very present in large format. To find out more, you can always read our article on this subject here.

What to remember:

  • A study warns of the dangers deepfakes
  • Participants had great difficulty recognizing real people in photos, even when taking their time
  • The risks of disinformation are everywhere

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116