Recognizing AI-generated images: a guide

January 27, 2024

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made significant strides in recent years, one of which is the ability to generate images. These AI-generated images, often created by Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), can range from artwork to realistic human faces.

What is an AI-generated image?

While the AI images have potential applications such as in art, gaming, and advertising, they can also be misused for disinformation or fraud. Therefore, it’s crucial to be able to detect them. For instance,  is a site where you can create AI-generated images, but also check if another image is AI-generated or not. To identify AI-generated images, its important to look for inconsistences such as unusual poses, unrealistic backgrounds, or text that appear out of the place.

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3 main checking points to identify ai-generated images

Use these checkpoints to tracks AI images and make the differences among them and real images.

Check the image metadata

AI-generated images often have metadata that includes clues or mentions of AI software. Check the image title, description, and tags for any such indications.

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Look for distortions or anomalies

AI-generated images may contain distortions or anomalies that are not typically found in natural images. These could include:

  • mismatched earrings,
  • warped facial features,
  • inconsistent lighting,
  • unnatural combination or gradients,
  • blurry or blocky areas is certain part of the image.

Also, uncommon and unlikely positions of subject in the image can be a sign that it has been generated by the artificial intelligence.

Examine the text or logos

If the image contains text or logos, check for signs of pixelation, stretching, or alteration. AI software can sometimes struggle to accurately render these elements.

Other methods to recognize an AI image

Apart from the tips given above, you can also try other techniques to know if an image has been generated by AI or not.

Use a reverse image search

Performing a reverse image search can help you find the source of the image or similar images online. If the image appears on a site associated with AI or GANs, it’s likely AI-generated. Finding the source of an image can help you discover more information about it or even identify watermark.

Use an AI-Detecting Tool

There are tools available, such as GAN Dissect or Which Face Is Real, that can analyze an image and highlight areas where AI was used. These tools can provide a more technical analysis of the image.

Trust your intuition

Lastly, use your common sense and intuition. If an image seems too perfect or contains elements that don’t seem credible, it could be AI-generation. If you pay attention to details like unrealistic poses or strange background, your intuition can help you sense that something is not right. By trusting your gut feeling and being observant, then you will become better at recognizing AI-generated images.

Importance of detecting AI-generated images

Being able to detect AI-generated images is an important skill in the digital age. As AI technology continues to advance, the ability to distinguish between real and AI-generated images will become increasingly important for avoiding publishing fake news, to protect oneself from frauds or scams, and so on. To further develop this skill, consider exploring more about AI and image analysis, and practice using the checking points outlined above. Remember, a critical eye can help ensure that you’re seeing the real picture… or no!