Amnesty International, a human rights advocacy organization, removed the artificial intelligence (AI) generated photos it used in a campaign to highlight police brutality in Colombia during major protests in 2021.
According to reports, the organisation came under fire for using AI to create the photos for its social media profiles. The Guardian on May 2 highlighted one image in particular.
It shows a woman being taken away by police in protests over significant and pervasive economic and social inequality in Colombia.
A closer inspection reveals a number anomalies in the image, like the uncanny-looking faces, the dated police gear, and the protester who looks to be somehow wrapped in a flag that is not the legitimate Colombian flag.
The bottom of each image also carries a disclaimer saying the images are produced by an AI.
Amnesty International told The Guardian it chose to use AI to generate images to protect protesters from possible state retribution. Erika Guevara Rosas, director for Americas at Amnesty, said:
We have removed the images from social media posts, as we don’t want the criticism for the use of AI-generated images to distract from the core message in support of the victims and their calls for justice in Colombia
Photojournalists criticized the use of the images, commenting that in today’s highly polarized era of fake news people are more likely to question the media’s credibility.