“We can confirm that this is false information and that the Pentagon was not attacked today,” a spokesperson said.
Firefighters in the area where the building is located (in Arlington, near Washington) also intervened to indicate on Twitter that no explosion or incident had taken place, neither at the Pentagon nor nearby.
The image appears to have caused markets to stall slightly for a few minutes, with the S&P 500 losing 0.29% from Friday before rallying.
“There was a downside to this misinformation when the machines picked it up,” Pat O’Hare of Briefing.com noted, referring to automated trading software that is programmed to react to network posts. social.
“But the fact that she remained measured in relation to the content of this false information suggests that others also considered it muddy,” he added for AFP.
An account from the QAnon conspiratorial movement was among the first to relay the false image, the source of which is not known.
The incident comes after several false photographs produced with generative AI were widely publicized to show the capabilities of this technology, such as that of the arrest of former US President Donald Trump or that of the Pope in a down jacket.
Software like DALL-E 2, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion allow amateurs to create convincing fake images without needing to master editing software like Photoshop.
But if generative AI facilitates the creation of false content, the problem of their dissemination and their virality – the most dangerous components of disinformation – falls to the platforms, regularly remind experts.
“Users are using these tools to generate content more efficiently than before (…) but they are still spreading via social networks”, underlined Sam Altman, the boss of OpenAI (DALL-E, ChatGPT), during of a congressional hearing in mid-May.