On Friday, Facebook announced that it removed a network of more than 900 phony accounts, pages and groups that used deceptive practices to spread politically polarizing spam across the platform. Most notably, some of these accounts featured profile photos of fake faces generated using artificial intelligence. According to WIRED, it could represent the first-ever large-scale use of AI-generated photos on a social network.
According to researchers, these fake photos were created using neural networks trained using photos of real human beings. While these pictures are convincing at first glance, there are several obvious tells that a photo was created with AI. For instance, the technology struggles with backgrounds, and also doesn’t know how to account for accessories like glasses and earrings. Still, this represents one of the most technologically sophisticated scams ever on Facebook. For its part, the company said that it knows it has its work cut out for it to stop the problem.
“We’re constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people. We’re taking down these Pages, Groups and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they posted,” Facebook said in a blog post. “We are making progress rooting out this abuse, but as we’ve said before, it’s an ongoing challenge. We’re committed to continually improving to stay ahead.”
While it’s encouraging that Facebook sniffed out this particular network of cybercriminals, scams like this one are evidence that bad actors are dedicated to remaining a step ahead of the social media giant.
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