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  4. Fact Check: Viral photo of workers rescued from Uttarkashi tunnel is AI-generated | Details

Fact Check: Viral photo of workers rescued from Uttarkashi tunnel is AI-generated | Details

A photo has gone viral on social media, claiming to be related to the rescue team that saved workers in the Silkyara Tunnel of Uttarkashi. India TV, in its fact-check, found that the viral image was created by AI which was erroneously shared by several prominent leaders.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Updated on: December 02, 2023 9:40 IST
Uttarkashi tunnel operation, fact check
Image Source : INDIA TV Fact check of viral picture of rescue team of Uttarkashi tunnel

India TV Fact Check: AI, or Artificial Intelligence, has advanced to the point where it can create information or visuals so accurately that it can sometimes deceive the human mind. Recently, a photo has gone viral, claiming to be a picture of a rescue team with 41 workers from inside the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi who are seen holding the Tricolour. However, India TV, in its fact-check, found that the image is not authentic and was created by AI.

What is going viral?

A lot of media houses published the viral photo without verifying its authenticity, citing the news agency Press Trust of India (PTI).  Additionally, numerous users on various social media platforms shared this image. Moreover, BJP's senior leader Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also posted this image on Twitter along with some pictures of labourers emerging from the tunnel. On November 28, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore shared this image with the caption: 

"Zindagi Zindabad! The safe return of the brave labourers trapped in the Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi is a wonderful example of humanity and teamwork. This is the new India under the leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji. Filled with indomitable willpower and courage. This new India puts its heart and soul into saving its citizens. Congratulations to the rescue team and all the brave labourers. Your courage and patience are inspiring everyone. I wish good health and well-being to all of you. Salute to the determination of everyone involved in this rescue campaign."

India Tv - fact check
Image Source : SCREENSHOTBJP leaders shared this picture on social media
Tejinder Bagga, the National Secretary of the BJP Yuva Morcha, also shared this picture on social media without any caption.

India TV did fact check

When we closely examined the photo, it became evident that there were some fundamental flaws. Upon zooming in on people's faces in the picture, their eyes appear blurred, and some have strange eyes. In the photo, some individuals seem to have three fingers, while others show distorted fingers. Additionally, there are structural distortions in the hands of some people. With these observations, it became clear that the photo could have been generated by AI.

India Tv - fact check
Image Source : SCREENSHOTAfter examining the picture on AI test tool, the probability was 96.3%.

To verify whether the viral image was created by AI or not, we used an online tool called "Illuminarty." Upon uploading the viral image to the tool, the AI probability for the photo was shown as 96.3%. Now, it was clear that the photo was indeed generated by AI.

Found pictures generated with the help of AI

Following this, we conducted a search on Google and X using relevant keywords, and we found an account named @Exclusive_Minds on X. On November 28, this user shared several images with the caption "Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue Successfully." All these images are fictional and created using AI. In two of the tweets, a large rescue team is shown inside the tunnel with the Tricolour, and all the images are distinct from each other. The fourth image among these is the one that went viral, shared by various leaders.

After scrutinizing the @Exclusive_Minds account, it was evident that the user had also clarified the viral image and revealed that the viral photo was created by AI.

What came out in the fact check?

The investigation into the viral image of the rescue team in the Uttarkashi tunnel revealed that it was not real but created by AI. The user who made it clarified and provided transparency regarding the creation of the image

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