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How to Know If An Image is AI-Generated

TL;DR

  • AI-generated images are becoming so good that you can hardly distinguish them from real ones.
  • However, AI tools are still not perfect, and so there are some pointers that can help detect AI images.
  • The image metadata and watermark traces are some of the things to look out for.

Generative AI tools have become so advanced that you almost cannot tell apart AI-generated images from real ones. Even at this stage, AI companies are still on the quest to better these tools, which means the line between AI images and reality will likely become thinner with every proceeding year.

On the good side, this improvement means that designers, photographers and the general public will embrace AI image-generating tools more for creative works and to improve productivity. On the other hand, it could be harnessed by bad actors to mislead and potentially harm people. 

But no matter what the intentions are, there will still be some ways to tell if an image is generated by AI.

Watermarks

Watermarks are the obvious indicator of AI-generated images. Most of the free AI photo editing software usually add watermarks at the bottom right, clearly stating that the image was generated by AI.

With premium or advanced AI image-generating tools like Midjourney, it’s difficult to notice but can still appear in some images. Given that these AI models are training on huge libraries of images, which include stock and watermarked images, they often include those watermarks when generating prompt requests, which may appear unclear.

Unreadable Texts

Most AI tools still struggle to generate images with readable texts or words. When you ask an AI image generator to generate an image that includes a certain word, it usually returns images with unreadable and unmeaningful words. However, this is one limitation that these AI services are very likely to improve upon.

Image from Midjourney – asked for a street sign with the words “love and light.”

Oddly Distorted Faces

AI image generators also flounder with faces and rightly portray the facial features, and that gives it away. This defect is usually found in images involving a lot of human faces. In some of the cases, the faces appear distorted or facial features (especially the eyes) are oddly placed.

Image from Midjourney – asked for an image of people celebrating in a conference.

Filename and Image Metadata of AI-generated Images

Images downloaded directly from some AI image-generating tools often include the image prompt in the filename, which is a clear indication, though it can easily be changed. 

One other way to detect AI-generated images is to look for inconsistencies in the metadata. 

Image metadata is a piece of information that is associated with an image file. It can include information about the camera, software, and settings that were used to create the image. It can also include information about when and where the image was taken.

Some AI image generators create images with very specific metadata values. If the metadata of an image matches these values, or there appears to be some inconsistencies in the metadata, then that could be a sign that the image is AI-generated.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Ibiam Wayas

Ibiam is an optimistic crypto journalist. Five years from now, he sees himself establishing a unique crypto media outlet that will breach the gap between the crypto world and the general public. He loves to associate with like-minded individuals and collaborate with them on similar projects. He spends much of his time honing his writing and critical thinking skills.

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