Fatema Tabasum

Fellow, Dismislab
Deep shadow of AI on the glimmering Met Gala-2024

Deep shadow of AI on the glimmering Met Gala-2024

Fatema Tabasum

Fellow, Dismislab

As is tradition, the renowned  Met Gala, one of the pinnacles of costume history’s fashion exhibitions, took place once more.  Met Gala-2024‘s dress code and theme were chosen as “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” based on the story “The Garden of Time” by science fiction writer JG Ballard. Fashion’s biggest night out, the Met Gala serves as a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and is held annually on the first Monday of May. This year, numerous prominent actors graced the Green Carpet instead of the customary Red Carpet, igniting a fervent competition to share their photographs across the online sphere. However, many celebrities’ pictures were altered even if they did not attend the Met Gala.

Harper’s Bazaar has unveiled a compilation called Every Celebrity Red-Carpet Look at the 2024 Met Gala on their website. This list does not include pop stars Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce, among others. However, several pictures of them have already gone viral on the internet as Met Gala 2024 looks and outfits. Those who are sharing don’t even know that none of the pictures are real but were created by AI, including Katy Perry’s own mother. The looks were so bomb that they started trending on Instagram, Facebook and X (formerly Twitter); to the point where people thought they were real, not realizing that these were actually created by artificial intelligence.

The images are mainly seen circulating on social media X, Facebook and Instagram. The singer and American Idol judge Katy Perry’s AI-edited photo had spread relatively more than the others.

The oldest post that Dismislab found while searching for the source of Katy Perry’s fake Met Gala 2024 image was on X. However, after the official event of the 2024’s Met Gala on May 6, this photo went viral and garnered almost 12 million views in 7 hours. In the photo, Katy Perry is adorned in a white floral dress, perfectly aligned with the event’s theme, ‘The Garden Of Time.’ The primary comments on the post indicate that the purpose was served. At first, almost everyone believed it to be Katy Perry’s Met Gala 2024 look, without a question. Katy Perry’s mother, Mary Perry, was also among those who believed the photo to be of her daughter.

Another AI photo of Katy Perry’s 2024 Met Gala look was seen going viral. Perry caught wind of the AI images and posted them from her Instagram handle, along with a screenshot of a text she got from her mother, Mary Perry. Her mother wrote, “Ha Feather! Didn’t know you went to the Met. What a gorgeous gown. You look like the Rose Parade, you are your own float lol.” The singer responded to her mother, “lol mom the AI got you too, BEWARE!” She captioned the post, “couldn’t make it to the MET, had to work,” and ended the carousel of what exactly she’s working on. Spoiler alert: She was in the recording studio.

Politifact conducted a meticulous analysis of Katy’s photo, revealing its fraudulent nature, crafted  with artificial intelligence. Politifact identifies that the carpet doesn’t match the 2024 Met Gala carpet, which was cream colored and had moss green accents along the edges. It’s much closer to the 2018 Met Gala carpet with a red pattern on the edges and leaf-covered walls, but still not an identical match. This year the color of the stairs and carpets were completely different. Looking closely at the photographers in the background of the Perry gown image also showed some inconsistencies common among AI-generated images, including bizarre looking hands and distorted faces.

Not only Katy Perry, AI-generated images of some other very famous pop stars like Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna– have gone viral as well. though none of them had walked down the Met Gala’s Green Carpet this year. Yet AI-generated pictures of several Met Gala stars were seen spreading on the internet. Despite being present at this year’s Met Gala, Dua Lipa and Kim Kardashian were also victims of AI fake edits. One Bangladeshi media ‘Barta 24’ published a report on May 7, 2024 titled “16 stars who appeared in weird outfits at the Met Gala”. Verification shows that the media did not check that the pictures of Lady Gaga, Bella Hadid, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Kanye West were actually created by AI.

At first glance, it may seem harmless but, the famous fashion magazine Forbes has revealed that the use of AI to generate and modify photos has become increasingly prevalent for celebrities and public figures, some of whom have argued for regulations on its use. Actors such as Kellen Goff, Jessie Pridemore and Belsheber Rusape Jr. have pushed for protections against the use of AI involving actors in the entertainment industry. AI-generated pornography of celebrities such as Margot Robbie and Selena Gomez have flourished on sites like eBay, where such photos were sold for money before the e-commerce giant took them down and suspended accounts selling them.