U.S. stocks briefly spooked on fake images of explosion near Pentagon

on May 22, 2023
  • Social media flooded with AI generated images of an explosion near the Pentagon today.
  • The benchmark S&P 500 index sold off sharply but briefly in response to the fake images.
  • The U.S. stocks are currently up nearly 10% versus the start of the year 2023.

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U.S. stocks were briefly spooked this morning following social media reports of an explosion near the Pentagon.

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Images have been confirmed to be fake

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Interestingly, the social platforms even flooded with images of the said explosion that resulted in a significant albeit not durable market sell-off.

S&P 500 has now recovered and stabilised, though, since none of the major media outlets confirmed the incident. Images of the explosion have been debunked as fakes, generated with the help of artificial intelligence.

Tweet that first reported the explosion has been deleted as well. At writing, the benchmark index is up nearly 10% versus the start of the year.

Do we need an AI pause?

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Artificial intelligence has pretty much been the front and centre of most financial debates ever since Microsoft announced a multi-billion-dollar investment in ChatGPT.

Also recently, though, experts and visionaries have pushed for AI pause on concerns that it could pose certain risks to the society as well – and if anything, today’s development paints a clearer picture of how AI, if abused, could be a big negative as well.

It is noteworthy that among prominent names that have been pushing for AI pause is Elon Musk as well, even though artificial intelligence could be a massive driver of future growth for his company Tesla Inc, as per the legendary investor Cathie Wood (source).


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