Have you seen the pictures of basketball great LeBron James in a pink outfit purportedly attending the premiere of the newest Barbie film? This week, they went viral after being shared on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, they are wholly fake.
The pictures occasionally also include accessories, like a pink purse, and are frequently captioned, “LeBron James on the Barbie movie.” James can also be seen wearing a pink skirt in one of the photos, though the shade is just off enough to pass for beige.
Despite the subtleties of color, these images are fake and were made with the help of AI tools like MidJourney or DALL-E. The AI tool that was used to create the fake James photos that are currently trending on social media is currently unknown.
One of the fake pictures has received over 260,000 views on Facebook alone and even caught Politifact’s attention, a group that verifies political claims. According to Politifact, some of the fabricated images of James have fingers that are wildly out of proportion and even “alien-like.” We continue to observe that artificial intelligence (AI) still has difficulty simulating realistic-looking fingers in viral fake images.
The new movie, which is directed by Greta Gerwig and stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is both a celebration of Barbie and a critique of the beloved toy’s past. For Warner Bros, the movie has already amassed a staggering $200 million at the box office.