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Starfield Image Leak Gets Debunked As AI-Generated

The image appeared on Reddit and had some users believing that someone had snapped it from a yet unseen trailer of the video game

Starfield fans thought they had caught a glimpse of a leaked shot from a game trailer. However, it turns out the image was a fake created by artificial intelligence.

Starfield is an upcoming action-role playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios, the creators of other hit RPG games such as Skyrim and Fallout. However, this time the journey takes to space with the eagerly anticipated Starfield.

The game already has a substantial following from fans eager to learn more about the game, so when an image from a supposed leak emerged on a Starfield subreddit, fans initially thought the photo was genuine. It bore the usual signs we expect from leaked images, with the picture appearing blurry and low quality. An official banner plastered on top would make fans believe the image was a snap from an upcoming trailer.

AI created

As reported by pcgamer, A Reddit poster quickly shared a screenshot with another, cleaner version of the same image stating it was an AI-generated image made using Midjourney. So while fans weren’t left believing the photo was real for very long, it does present questions on how AI is being used to create these fake images. 

L image shows the supposedly leaked image. R image is the original apparently created in Midjourney. (Photo Credit: Jessyplayford)

No harm was done because the snap got debunked quickly, but some users instantly assumed the image was a genuine leak. The character shown in the artwork resembles a character from the game named Sarah. One Reddit user commented, “I mean that kind of resembles Sarah in my opinion, so I can see why people would believe it.”

Another user stated, “people are so concerned with AI singularity/rebellion, but here we are abusing it for misinformation. Self-aware AI can just kick back and watch us screw each other over until the idiots are culled.”

Don’t believe everything you see

While the internet is a place of information, it’s important to remember that not everything shared online is real. This will only become even more true as AI evolves to greater heights. While many can use these technologies to streamline work processes and create in new unique ways, others will use these tools for more questionable causes.

We have already seen issues with deepfake technology, where fake advertisements using celebrities were on the rise. This technology can be incredibly believable and can make it appear that someone is saying or doing something but in reality, it’s completely fake. However, these fakes are now becoming easier to detect by using the power of AI to combat other AI tools.

This latest instance of AI-generated content being used to fake a leaked image shows how easily these tools can replicate something to look real. While the image didn’t get very far this time, we could continue to see these types of fake imagery appear around big title game launches.

Recently an audio clip appeared to have Bethesda’s Todd Howard sharing details of the upcoming Elder Scrolls 6. The audio featured some explicit content. While the audio was so outlandish it was apparent it was fake, the actual audio itself sounded extremely real and could easily pass as being Todd Howard. In the future, we will likely see regulations regarding AI content come into play to moderate the space.

Written By

Paige Cook is a writer with a multi-media background. She has experience covering video games and technology and also has freelance experience in video editing, graphic design, and photography. Paige is a massive fan of the movie industry and loves a good TV show, if she is not watching something interesting then she's probably playing video games or buried in a good book. Her latest addiction is virtual photography and currently spends far too much time taking pretty pictures in games rather than actually finishing them.

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