If you haven’t heard yet, that image of the Pope rocking a massive white puffer coat with his cross necklace and littlest Pope hat is a fake — another creation using the AI image generator Midjourney. It was first shared to Reddit over the weekend and quickly went viral on Twitter before word spread that it did not depict the true Pope, who tends to sport less flashy winter wear in public.
The biggest clue comes from the way in which the not-Pope is grasping the bottle in his right hand, as these kinds of programs continue to struggle to get human hands looking right, often granting them extra fingers or just making them look bizarre. Still, the image fooled quite a lot of people before word began to spread that it was a fake, and either way, it prompted quite a few amusing jokes on the subject of popes and fashion sense.
AI-generated images keep causing uproars on social media, with some having slightly more dire consequences than a Pope in a fashionable jacket. Last week, timelines were flooded with fake images of Donald Trump being chased and arrested by crowds of police, but the actual promised arrest never materialized. This led to quite a bit of disappointment among left-wing folks.
Some of the best jokes about the Pope one admonished people who had been fooled and warned that we all need to gain the skills to spot fakes before something worse happens than disappointment.
“I think to get through the AI era you need to really lean into your common sense,” wrote one Twitter user. “Is the pope usually dressed like Fat Joe? No.”