By Study Finds
In what sounds like a science-fiction thriller, Australian scientists found that White faces produced by artificial intelligence have the perception of being more realistic than those of actual humans. This startling discovery is raising concerns about the potential reinforcement of racial biases online, as AI-generated faces of people of color did not receive the same level of recognition.
“If White AI faces are consistently perceived as more realistic, this technology could have serious implications for people of color by ultimately reinforcing racial biases online,” says study senior author Dr. Amy Dawel, of the Australian National University (ANU), in a media release. “This problem is already apparent in current AI technologies that are being used to create professional-looking headshots. When used for people of color, the AI is altering their skin and eye color to those of White people.”
AI’s tendency to distort the appearance of people of color further underscores the potential consequences of this phenomenon. An additional concern uncovered by researchers is the propensity for individuals to be deceived by AI-generated “hyper-realistic” faces without realizing it.
“Concerningly, people who thought that the AI faces were real most often were paradoxically the most confident their judgments were correct,” explains study co-author Elizabeth Miller, PhD candidate at ANU. “This means people who are mistaking AI imposters for real people don’t know they are being tricked.”
Researchers delved into why AI-generated faces manage to deceive people.
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