jillianne hamilton - blog
Historical AI Photos are Lying to You
March 8, 2024

I’m scrolling Facebook. I see a black-and-white photo from 1907 posted by a page that posts historical photos. The image is very clear… suspiciously clear. The lighting doesn’t look quite right. I notice other small details within the photo. And then I sigh loudly and go right to the comments where hundreds of people are commenting “Beautiful!”, “Reminds me of when I was a kid” and “Fresh air, nice for the children.” Occasionally, one or two people reply with “It’s fake. It’s AI.” and “It’s not real.”

(Click to see a larger version.)

There are plenty to choose from but my favorite details in this AI-generated image are the shoe-wearing desk leg and the unattached arm laying across a girl’s desk. This girl lost her arm but hasn’t had time to pop it back on. Ya know, like back in the good ol’ days?

This is being a history lover in 2024 and it’s exhausting. Every photo must be carefully scrutinized.

Historian and YouTuber Karolina Żebrowska hit the nail on the head with her recent video, Is AI Ruining Our Perception of History? Highly recommend it.

As she points out, these hundreds of people falling for AI because they want it to be real. I’ve now heard of some scammers who hunt down these more gullible users via comments sections because their scams are made specifically to prey on people more likely to believe everything they see online, including things that are too good to be true.

I am firmly opposed to the use of AI for the use of creating images and text. It is unethical and harmful to our planet. Sometimes the use of AI by scammers can be hilariously bad and sometimes it can put lives in danger.

It’s not like some fake old-timey photos is going to hurt anyone. Right? After all, it’s just a form of disinformation and disinformation never causes harm… right?


This is kind of unrelated but this exchange made me laugh.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Jillianne Hamilton writes delightful historical fiction and historical romance featuring rebellious heroines and happy endings.

Available Now

The Land Girl on Lily Road
The Hobby Shop on Barnaby Street - WWII historical romance
The Hobby Shop on Barnaby Street - WWII historical romance
Barnes and Noble Nook
iBooks - Apple Books
Amazon Kindle
Barnes and Noble Nook
Amazon Kindle
iBooks - Apple Books
Google Play

sign up for updates

Subscribe for monthly email updates from me.

Get awesome subscriber-only exclusives, be the first to learn about my new book releases, see what I’m working on, get a behind-the-scenes look at my writing process, and more.

Don't forget to confirm your address via the email you will get upon registering. Emails may hide in the spam folder or your promotions tab.