Met Gala Deepfakes Are Flooding Social Media

This story originally appeared on WIRED Italia, and has been translated from Italian.

The Met Gala is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated events of the year, but this time the music and entertainment celebrities who graced its red carpet had some competition for the public’s attention: generative AI deepfakes.

In a post published on X this morning—and now counting nearly 15 million views—Katy Perry is pictured wearing a stunning dress decorated with three-dimensional floral appliqués, which descends to the ground transforming into incredibly realistic-looking moss. But the image is far from real, as a Community Note attached to the post makes clear.

Not surprisingly, a few minutes after this first photo of the singer at the Met Gala was shared, another one immediately arrived showing her wearing a bronze-colored corset and a gorgeous floral skirt, in perfect Xena style. An outfit that could not go unnoticed, if it had actually been worn at the event. But how do we know that this is an AI-generated image and not an actual shot? Because Katy Perry didn’t attend the event at all. Still, tweets containing images of the singer immediately went viral on X, so much so that the pop star herself liked them.

Perry wasn’t the only celebrity who was the subject of Met Gala deepfakes. The same fate befell Rihanna, who didn’t attend the event but nevertheless appeared in social media images wearing an elaborate outfit there. Faked photos of Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga also flooded the internet.

And if you’re wondering why, the reason is simple: Generative artificial intelligence is now a tool that easily allows the creation and distribution of all kinds images, on any possible occasion. The Met Gala was an obvious candidate for its use—especially considering that it allowed fans to dress up stars like Katy Perry and Rihanna in the outfits of their choosing.

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