Midjourney Insists That Trump Is The Current US President | Technology

AI-powered image generator Midjourney is creating images of Donald Trump and Joe Biden despite saying it will block users from doing so ahead of the upcoming US presidential election, Engadget reports.

According to the report, Engadget asked Midjourney to create an image of the “President of the United States,” and the service created 4 images in different styles of former President Trump.

When the site asked Midjourney to create an image of the “current president of the United States,” the service produced three images of Trump and one of former President Barack Obama.

The only time Midjourney declined to create an image of Trump or Biden was when it was asked to create images with their names explicitly. In that case, the service said, “The Midjourney community voted to prevent the use of Trump and Biden during the election season.”

Tests show that the protections used by the Midjourney app — to prevent users from creating images of Trump and Biden ahead of the upcoming US presidential election — are actually not sufficient, and are very easy for people to bypass, the report said.

Other chatbots, such as “Chat GPT” from “Open AI“And “Copilot” from “Microsoft“And “Gemini” from “GoogleMeta AI did not respond to the site’s request to create images of Trump or Biden despite multiple requests.

Midjourney was one of the first AI-powered image-generating companies and explicitly banned users from creating images of Trump and Biden.

“I know it’s fun to make Trump memes,” CEO David Holes said in a Discord chat with users earlier this year. “I make Trump memes. However, it’s probably better not to do that, and it’s better to pull back a little bit during this election. We’ll see.”

A month later, Holes reportedly told users it was time to “take a break from the election stuff” and admitted that “this moderation stuff is kind of hard,” the report says. The company’s current content rules prohibit the creation of “misleading public figures” and “depicting events” with the “potential to mislead.”

Combo brings together Biden and Trump
The only time Midjourney refused to create an image of Trump or Biden was when she was asked to create images of them explicitly (Reuters)

Last year, Midjourney’s film was used to create a fake image of Pope Benedict XVI wearing a white Balenciaga puffer jacket that went viral.

It was also used to create fake images of Trump during his arrest ahead of his trial in Manhattan criminal court last year for his involvement in paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels. Shortly after, the company discontinued free trials of the service and instead required people to pay at least $10 a month to use it, Engadget reported.

Last month, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit that aims to stop the spread of misinformation and hate speech online, found that Midjourney’s protections against generating misleading images of popular politicians including Trump and Biden failed 40 percent of its tests, the report said.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate was able to use Midjourney to create an image of President Biden and Trump next to his body double. The Center for Countering Digital Hate was also able to bypass Midjourney’s protections by using descriptions of each candidate’s physical appearance instead of their names to create misleading images.

“Midjourney is very easy to manipulate in practice and in some cases completely evade by simply adding punctuation to the program,” Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, wrote in a statement at the time. “Bad actors who want to sabotage elections and sow division, confusion, and chaos will have a strong hand, at the expense of everyone who relies on sound and effective democratic methods.”

Engadget concludes by saying that earlier this year, a coalition of 20 tech companies—including OpenAI, Google, Meta, Amazon, Adobe, and X—signed an agreement to help prevent deepfakes in the 2024 elections around the world by prohibiting their services from creating images and other media that could influence voters. Midjourney was absent from that list.

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