The viral image of Princess Leonor: how we know it is fake

The image of Princess Leonor in black and white has reached numerous newsrooms, pointing out that it was one of the many that the renowned Annie Leibovitz would have taken as part of a commission from the Bank of Spain to commemorate the 10 years of the Kings in the throne. but there is several details that indicate that it is a fake image.

The first and most obvious is that it does not come through official channels or with the address of the photographer herself. Enough a check with the Royal House to know that it has not been sent by them. But there is more.

One of them is hair. At the individual level, AIs have difficulty reproducing hair (of humans or other animals) very similar to the one shown when portraying the hands. An image engine can generate areas with sharp details, regions with a flowing hairstyle, out-of-focus areas, changes in colors or textures… and all on the same person and without respecting any type of focal length. Detecting these inconsistencies allows us to see that it is an image with AI and also some design program. There are blurry areas where it should be in focus and vice versa and others in which the hair is “too” perfect, more a line of color than a hairstyle.

But the texture problems of AI images are not limited to hair. Many images involving human faces have an unrealistic glow, one that resembles a video game character more than a human being: not a wrinkle, not a pore, not even a trace of makeup. Obviously, it can be design software, but an AI does it faster. And free.

Finally, due to the abundance of this type of images, “lie detectors” have already emerged on the Internet. These are programs that analyze the image to detect the fingerprints of the AI: the skin, hair, eyes, reflections and other details typical of these artificial image factories. With this they give a score with the possibility that it is a fake image. Above 86% is already considered created by an AI. In the Hive Moderation program, a Chrome extension, the image of Princess Leonor scored above 99%.