Trump Hasn’t Been Arrested But But AI Images Are Fooling People

Donald Trump.

Photo: Shane Bevel/NCAA Photos (Getty Images)

The former U.S. president Donald Trump still walks free as of the time of writing. But certain AI-generated photos on Twitter tell a different story. These deepfakes depict a world where one of the most powerful white men in America can be treated like any other citizen, meaning actually be held accountable for his actions. Except they’re not real. Some people believed they were, and that’s alarming for anyone who cares about media literacy.

This weekend, Trump told his supporters that he was expecting to be arrested on Tuesday over allegations of hush money paid to the former porn star Stormy Daniels. To be clear: The case against him exists. The Manhattan district attorney’s office has previously asked Trump to testify to a grand jury. Both legal minds and journalists are still speculating over whether or not he’ll be charged at all. So this whole saga is still far from a done deal. That hasn’t stopped Eliot Higgins, a citizen journalist, from using Midjourney to make these AI generated images of Trump being tackled and chased by the police.

While the original tweet has over three million views, these images have been shared across Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook, often without context or taking them at face value. Twitter hasn’t labeled these images as fake, so some people are having trouble with identifying them as machine generated (One tweet that pointed to this problem garnered over a thousand likes). Facebook is similarly chaotic. Some users chose to disclose the photos’ AI origins, and some didn’t. Many TikToks aren’t disclaiming that the images are AI-generated.

This is a huge problem when right-wing grifters like Ian Miles Cheong are using them to galvanize Trump supporters to action. New York City is already preparing for the former president’s supporters to riot in the streets over a possible arrest. These fake images of their “imperiled” leader just add more tinder to the fire. Kotaku reached out to ask Higgins for a comment, but did not receive one by the time of publication.

Look, it doesn’t matter if you’re savvy enough to tell whether or not these images are real. Outside of our social media bubbles, large swaths of the country are vulnerable to misinformation and fake news. These images have already made their way to Facebook, a platform with millions of vulnerable users. As long as Americans want a Trump arrest to be real, such images will continue to go viral.

Watch AI Trump Vs AI Biden In A Deranged Endless Live Debate

An AI version of Trump and Biden on Twitch.

Screenshot: trumporbiden2024

If there’s a big enough data set to pull from, AI can create audio and visual replications of anyone suddenly saying and doing things they’ve never said before. You’ve probably already seen this in action, whether it’s those popular AI TikTok songs that show you what Ariana Grande might sound like singing a Taylor Swift song or those silly clips of American presidents reimagined as hardcore gamers yelling into their headsets. Now, someone’s gone ahead and locked both President Biden and former president / classified document holder Donald Trump into an infinite battle on Twitch that can only be described as “unhinged.”

Maybe that’s because the version of Biden we see on the trumporbiden2024 livestream isn’t Joe Biden per se, but clearly Dark Brandon, who is ready to go for the throat. Both AI versions of the politicians curse heavily at each other: at one point I heard Biden call Trump a limp dick and Trump retorted by telling him to go back to jacking off to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They both seem to be speaking to or reacting to the chat in some ways, like when Trump said that the fake news he’s reading is worse than the garbage that’s flowing in the chat.

You can see the feed live below, though be warned, the audio may not be safe for work.

The things the AI will actually argue about seem to have a dream logic to them. I heard Biden exclaim that Trump didn’t know anything about Pokémon, so viewers shouldn’t trust him. Trump later informed Biden that he couldn’t possibly handle genetically modified catgirls, unlike him. “Believe me, nobody knows more about hentai than me,” Trump declared. Both men are programmed to loosely follow the conversation threads the other sets, and will do all the mannerisms you’ve come to expect out of these debates, like seeing Biden react to a jab with a small chuckle. At one point during my watch, I saw the AI stop going at each other only to start tearing into people in the chat for having bad usernames and for not asking real questions.

There are hiccups, like when the AI gets stuck saying a weird or long username, and every so often both men will flicker in and out of their podiums. But topics aside, this is pretty damn realistic and possibly a good way to ready yourself for the likely circus that will accompany the next presidential election.

Ai Trump Roasts Twitch Chat and Ai Joe Biden 👀✅

What’s next, an AI Jesus ready to dole out digital blessings? Oh, wait.

Disney Really Did Turn A Hillary Robot Into Trump

We’ve tried to scrub as much of the time period from our collective memories as possible, I know, but if you cast your mind back to the Presidency of Donald Trump, and 2017 specifically, you might remember one of the weirdest stories to emerge was one involving Disney, an animatronic robot and Hillary Clinton.

It was never confirmed, but as soon as Disney unveiled their bizarrely misshapen version of Trump for the Hall of Presidents, people looked at it and thought: hrm, that sure looks like they made a robot of Hillary Clinton, assuming she would win, then had to hurriedly change it to Trump after his surprise upset.

Hall of Presidents with President Donald Trump | Walt Disney World

Then a bunch of other horrors and pandemics and constitutional crisis took place and we all forgot about it. Until this week, when podcaster Alex Goldman—after speaking with a former Disney employee who was there at the time, but asked to remain anonymous—published a report saying…that’s pretty much what happened.

The source (a former Disney “Imagineer”) says that, in an effort to keep the show open for as long as possible—it normally has to close for months while a new Presidential robot is built, and its lines recorded—Disney execs in 2016 hedged their bets and had a Hillary made ahead of time.

“I remember seeing the facial designs for the Hillary animatronic at least six months before the election”, they recall, “and an intern asked the 3D artist what would happen if Trump won, and he laughed and just said, ‘Then, we’re screwed’”.

While this employee says they knew about the decision to build Hillary early, which is interesting enough in its own right, they can’t confirm that the Trump animatronic we eventually saw was exactly the same robot. “My guess is that they probably originally tried to salvage the animatronic by keeping Hillary’s skull and putting Trump’s skin over top of it”, they conclude, which given the news about building Hillary in 2016 and his ultimately bizarro face now seems 99.99% likely, but as we learned from the 2016 polls, 99.99% is not 100%, so just keep that in mind.

(Note that after President Biden won the 2020 election, while the attraction was closed down building his animatronic, Trump’s was also salvaged to appear much more realistic).

Oh, and before you stop thinking about Disney animatronics for the day/month/year, you should definitely check out Goldman’s full blog for a bonus anecdote about “at least a dozen Ellen Degeneres animatronics”.

Trump Lawyer Sports Gamer Laptop At $250 Million Fraud Trial

Today is the first day of former president Donald Trump’s $250 million fraud trial in New York. A case brought by the state’s attorney general accuses the Republican primary frontrunner of lying about his net worth by billions of dollars to try to secure more favorable loan terms. One of his attorneys, Alina Habba, showed up with what appears to be an Asus ROG gaming laptop. Its RGB logo changed colors during the hearing.

Update 10/5/2023 11:54 a.m. ET: Habba did not respond to a request for comment but did tweet about this story three days after it was published to clarify that the laptop actually belonged to the court and was used for the live transcript feed. She just happened to be the person seated in front of it.

“When the world thinks you’re a gamer because the court’s live transcript feed computer is placed in front of you #fakenews #notagamer,” she tweeted.

Original story follows.

The laptop was spotted by Ryan Rigney, marketing director for the recently released anime sports game, Omega Strikers. “Gamer lawyer brought the 2070ti asus laptop with the blue underglow to the court hearing,” he tweeted. Various pictures taken at different times during the hearing appear to show the Asus ROG emblem on the front of the laptop, as well as the underglow, cycling from blue to orange.

The laptop in question looks like it could be the ROG Strix G17 G712 model. Originally released in 2021, it sports a 17-inch screen, an RTX 2070 Super GPU, 2.3 GHz Intel i7, 16GB of DDR4 memory, and of course, an RGB keyboard and light bar with Asus’ Aura Sync. It currently sells for about $1,700.

Habba did not immediately respond to a request for comment about what the exact model of the laptop was, how often she games on it, or if Trump has ever watched her play on it.

During today’s court poceedings, Habba, who is also a senior advisor for Trump’s Super Pac, MAGA Inc., told the judge in the case that, “There was no intent to defraud, period, the end.” The ex-president, who was also indicted in August on four criminal counts related to alleged attempts to overthrow the government, tried to delay the current fraud case and get it thrown out but was ultimately unsuccessful.

Habba didn’t get her law degree until 2010, and didn’t meet Trump for the first time until 2019. She was previously accused of racist behavior in a 2022 lawsuit by a former employee at her law firm, including saying “I hate that Black b*tch” about New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the current fraud case against Trump. There were also allegedly recordings of her loudly “dropping ‘N’ bombs” while rapping along to music in her New Jersey law office. The lawsuit was settled out of court later that year.

 

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