A fake image showing the aftermath of an explosion near the Pentagon in Washington D.C., home to the U.S. Department of Defense, apparently created by AI technology, went viral on social media early this morning.
The image showed a cloud of smoke near buildings that appeared to be close to the Pentagon, leading many accounts to speculate that there had been an explosion near the building.
The official account of the Arlington, VA fire and EMS department quickly clarified that reports of an explosion near the building were fake.
@PFPAOfficial and the ACFD are aware of a social media report circulating online about an explosion near the Pentagon. There is NO explosion or incident taking place at or near the Pentagon reservation, and there is no immediate danger or hazards to the public. pic.twitter.com/uznY0s7deL
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) May 22, 2023
“There is NO explosion or incident taking place at or near the Pentagon reservation, and there is no immediate danger or hazards to the public,” said the official account.
Despite the tweet, numerous accounts including a number of foreign media accounts shared the allegation. These included Republic, an Indian news account, and Russian media.
So @republic aired a 'Live & Breaking' news of Pentagon explosion image. They even invited Prof. Madhav Nalapat "strategic expert" to discuss about the explosion.
BWT, It was an AI generated image. pic.twitter.com/8j1nfSJR6x
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) May 22, 2023
Russian state media outlet @RT_com has now deleted a tweet sharing false reports about an explosion near the Pentagon. Oops. pic.twitter.com/xntM2BvOl6
— Tyson Whelan (@tyson_whelan) May 22, 2023
Markets fell by 0.26 percent in the brief minutes after claims about an explosion spread, although they quickly bounced back.
The incident caused some accounts to renew calls for regulating AI.
“This AI-generated image of an explosion at the Pentagon tricked several breaking news accounts, and caused the stock market to drop temporarily,” said Genevieve Roch-Decter, a finance writer. “This is why we need to regulate AI.”
This AI-generated image of an explosion at the Pentagon tricked several breaking news accounts, and caused the stock market to drop temporarily @elonmusk this is why we need to regulate AI pic.twitter.com/AedGT8W3Os
— Genevieve Roch-Decter, CFA (@GRDecter) May 22, 2023
With the success of tools like ChatGPT, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion, AI has captured the attention of the public and elites alike.
The secretive Bilderberg Group, which met this weekend, had AI as one of the top items on its agenda. Attendees at the meeting included OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and Google DeepMind head Demis Hassabis.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.
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