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Real Fake Newsletter – Issue #130

Menno van Doorn
October 03, 2023

Tank Man and The Erosion of Digital Veracity

In the annals of photographic history, few images have garnered as much recognition as the iconic Tank Man photograph, captured by AP lensman Jeff Widener, emblematic of the heart-rending struggle for freedom in the 20th century. Yet, a simple Google search for “Tank Man” last week revealed a fabricated AI-created image in the prime spot, a far cry from the raw authenticity the original snapshot epitomised.

This isn’t Google’s maiden misstep in authentic representation. Previously, a quest for Johannes Vermeer’s timeless ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ yielded an AI spun image, masquerading as the illustrious Dutch masterpiece. These instances foreground a pressing conundrum: as AI-created imagery burgeons, engulfing the digital realm in a wave of synthetic visual narrative, how equipped are search engines in sieving the bona fide from the fabricated? The episodes unravel an unsettling narrative of how the digital realm’s veracity could be quietly eroding, heralding profound implications for the troves of information harvested and disseminated in our increasingly digitised global discourse.

It is not the first example of where Google’s search engine failed to show authentic information. A couple of months ago an AI created picture of the Girl with a Pearl Earring popped up while searching for Johannes Vermeer. It raises serious questions on how search engines will be able to display truthful content as they contend with the huge influx of AI-created images that are currently flooding the web.

AI Girlfriends Are Ruining an Entire Generation of Men

“While the concept of an AI girlfriend may seem like a joke, it really isn’t that funny. It is enabling a generation of lonely men to stay lonely and childless, which will have devastating effects on the U.S. economy in less than a decade.”

The Vast Majority of NFTs Are Now Worthless, New Report Shows

A recent dappGambl report, which examined data from NFT Scan and CoinMarketCap, revealed that 69,795 of the 73,257 NFT collections have a market capitalization of zero Ether. Consequently, this leaves 95% of NFT collection holders, totaling 23 million individuals, with investments that now hold no value.

U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere

Mark Zuckerberg: First Interview in the Metaverse

About the author

Director and Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Menno is Director of the Sogeti Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT). He mixes personal life experiences with the findings of the 19 years of research done at the VINT Research Institute. Menno has co-authored many books on the impact of new technology on business and society.


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