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Pro-Bitcoin DeSantis Tagged over AI-faked Photos in Trump Smear Campaign

In a surprising turn of events, Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has been accused of using artificial intelligence-generated images in a smear campaign against his rival, former President Donald Trump. This incident highlights the growing trend of AI-generated deep fakes being utilized in political advertisements and movements.

DeSantis’ campaign recently tweeted a video suggesting close ties between Trump and Anthony Fauci, the former president’s chief medical advisor. Fauci has been a controversial figure within GOP circles due to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The video featured a combination of real images and what appeared to be AI-generated images showing Trump and Fauci hugging, with some even depicting Trump kissing Fauci.

Twitter’s Community Notes feature, which aims to combat misinformation, added a disclaimer to the tweet, labeling the images as “AI-generated.” AFP Fact Check, a department of Agence France-Presse, also identified the images as having the characteristics of AI-generated imagery.

DeSantis and Trump are currently vying for the Republican nomination for president. DeSantis, a pro-Bitcoin candidate, launched his campaign last month and has expressed his commitment to protecting the cryptocurrency. However, recent polls indicate that he is trailing behind Trump.

It is worth noting that both sides of the political spectrum have utilized AI-generated media to attack their rivals. Trump’s campaign, for instance, employed AI to create a fake Twitter Space featuring DeSantis, Elon Musk, George Soros, Adolf Hitler, Satan, and Trump himself in a video mocking DeSantis’ announcement of his presidential bid.

In another example, the Republican Party released an advertisement in April envisioning a dystopian future under a second term for President Joe Biden. The ad prominently featured AI-generated images to depict this grim scenario.

The use of AI-generated media is not limited to the United States. New Zealand’s National Party, in an attempt to criticize the ruling Labour Party, utilized AI-generated images in multiple social media posts. These images depicted Polynesian hospital staff, masked men robbing a jewelry store, and a woman in a house at night.

The prevalence of AI-generated media in politics raises concerns about the potential for misinformation and manipulation. It underscores the need for critical evaluation and fact-checking when consuming political content in an increasingly digital age.

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