Pro-Bitcoin DeSantis tagged over AI-faked photos in Trump smear campaign

Pro-Bitcoin (BTC) presidential bidder Ron DeSantis has been tagged for apparently using artificial intelligence-generated images in an ad campaign smearing rival and former president Donald Trump.

It comes amid a rise in AI-generated deep fakes being used in political ads and movements in recent months.

On June 5, DeSantis’ campaign tweeted a video purporting to show Trump’s close support of Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to Trump when he was president of the United States.

Fauci is a contentious figure in GOP circles for, among other reasons, his handling of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic which many deemed to be heavy-handed.

The video features a collage of real images depicting Trump and Fauci mixed in with what appears to be AI-generated images of the pair hugging with some depicting Trump appearing to kiss Fauci.

Twitter’s Community Notes feature — the platform’s community-driven misinformation-dispelling project — added a disclaimer to the tweet calling it “AI-generated images.”

AFP Fact Check, a department within the news agency Agence France-Presse said the images had “the hallmarks of AI-generated imagery.”

Pro-Bitcoin DeSantis tagged over AI-faked photos in Trump smear campaign
A screenshot from the video, the top left, bottom middle and bottom right images are AI-generated. Source: Twitter

DeSantis and Trump are facing off to take the Republican nominee for president. DeSantis kicked off his bid last month in a Twitter Space and promised to “protect” Bitcoin — current polling has him trailing Trump.

AI in the political sphere

Others in politics have used AI-generated media to attack rivals, even Trump’s campaign is guilty of using AI to smear DeSantis.

Shortly after DeSantis announced his presidential bid, Trump posted a video mocking DeSantis’ Twitter-based announcement, using deepfaked audio to create a fake Twitter Space featuring the likeness of DeSantis, Elon Musk, George Soros, Adolf Hitler, Satan, and Trump.