AI Deepfakes Falsely Position Katy Perry and Rihanna at Met Gala


The absence of pop icons Katy Perry and Rihanna at this year’s Met Gala did not deter artificially generated deepfake images from weaving a captivating narrative of their presence at the event. These doctored images, skillfully crafted by AI technologies, hoodwinked fans into believing the stars had graced the steps of one of fashion’s most prestigious nights.

The visually manipulated images quickly circulated online, suggesting the Met Gala attendees extended beyond the actual guest list. Proponents of AI technology could argue this reflects the strides the sector has made toward creating intricately automated images. On the other hand, the spectacle raised questions regarding the ingenuity behind the production and dissemination of such images.

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The authenticity of the AI-created deepfake images was so convincing that Perry’s own mother was duped into believing the singer had attended the gala. To extend the intrigue sparked by the rumor, Perry playfully posted the AI-created images, as well as a playful text exchange with her mother on Instagram.

In an equally enthralling twist, a faux image of Rihanna adorned in a sumptuous white gown embellished with embroidered flowers, birds and branches created ripples online. Initial speculation had suggested a confirmed appearance at the Met Gala for Rihanna, promises that were shattered when Vogue representatives stated she would not be attending.

The origin of these technological marvels and their realistic appearance has brought the role of AI in fabricating events to the spotlight. It’s become apparent that AI-trained tools manipulated images from past events to craft these deceiving portraits. The recurring instance of AI-generated content showcases a worrying trend about the potential misuse of such technology, particularly in sowing disinformation, endorsing scams, theft or propaganda, and worse, manipulating electoral proceedings.

“Seeing is no longer believing,” claims Cayce Myers, a professor and director of graduate studies at Virginia Tech’s School of Communication, highlighting the profound influence of AI-generated content.

While deploying AI to create images of celebrities costumed in fictitious high-end gowns may seem harmless on the surface, serious repercussions lurk beneath the digital fabric. The technology has a proven history of use in harmful, intrusive, and exploitative capacities.

Recently, sexually explicit and false images of Taylor Swift circulated online, illustrating the alarming power and potential misuse of AI. The grave implications of AI misuse are not confined to celebrities alone; ordinary individuals not wearing the armor of fame are also susceptible to the exploitation of this technology.

The rising concerns over AI’s unregulated use have instigated the need for corporate responsibility, establishment of industry standards and government regulation. With AI becoming an increasing part of our digital world, governing authorities have to hurry to stay abreast of these technological developments. As these measures come into play, it remains to be seen if adequate safeguards can be put in place to combat the darker aspects of AI’s capabilities.