The Internet received a wake-up call with the Pope in a $3,500 Balenciaga puffer coat. It was AI-generated by Pablo Xavier, a 31-year-old construction worker from Chicago

AI generated image of the Pope in Balenciaga puffer coat
AI generated image of the Pope

The cover image clown is AI-generated by Julie Weiland - this clown does not exist, has never existed and is not real. How about video? Here's Tom Cruise hard at work, or maybe not.

The video above produced by @deeptomcruise. Images, video - how about audio? Here's a cover of Barbie Girl by Johnny Cash presented by @ThereIRuinedIt

Problem is... we have to do something about things which never happened.

A deepfake detonation of a bomb at the White house
Deepfake imge of bombing at the Pentagon

We used to have a shared reality. Something happened, or it didn't. Then we argued about why it happened, the framing and the narrative.

Socialism versus Capitalism, Human error versus technical error, Evolution versus Divine intervention. We discussed how to make something happen more often, or prevent them from happening altogether.

We had a place to start - an image, a photograph, something shared, something to talk about. If we ask the machine, this is what Perplexity AI has to say..

The fabric of reality is shaped by various elements such as images, voices, photographs, and narratives. In this era of multiple narratives and explanations, it becomes increasingly challenging to determine what can be trusted and believed. The prevalence of fake news and disinformation campaigns adds to the confusion and undermines our shared understanding. The internet and technology have had a profound impact on our thinking and perception, with the potential to reshape our epistemology.

The AI company generates text-to-video with a choice of 100+ presenters with different narration styles. This woman does not exist.

And here's a video by director Martin Haerlin

At some point we will need a chain-of-trust, I believe blockchain & NFT technology can enable this. The photographer signs the original photograph into a blockchain, and as the image travels between news distribution and news outlets it is tracked in the chain.

The photographer is now the source of truth that this is indeed an authentic photograph and has not been AI generated or manipulated in Photoshop etc. This is what Numbers Protocol is doing

Numbers Protocol is the asset-driven protocol to make digital media traceable and verifiable through its innovative process. By making digital media traceable and verifiable, we are able to address critical issues in the digital media space, namely misinformation, copyright and royalty distribution.

More about Numbers protocol for assets on Medium.