Hulu's anti-Hamas ad possibly created with AI


Hulu ran an anti-Hamas ad that appears to have been created using artificial intelligence to show an idealized version of Gaza – claiming that this paradise destination could exist if Hamas were not there.

The 30-second spot, which opens like a tourism ad, shows palm trees and a beach. There are five star hotels and children playing. People dance, eat and laugh, while a voiceover encourages visitors to “experience a culture rich in tradition”. But this suddenly changes, and the face of a smiling man turns into one of sadness. The narrator says, “Gaza could have been in a similar situation without Hamas.” A new series of images flash, this time of fighters and weapons, and children walking through the streets or holding guns.

The ad condenses decades of conflict between Israel and Palestinians and centuries of war in the region into a 30-second ad that appears to use AI to help spread its message. The reality of who is responsible for the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza is a more complex issue than is portrayed in the short ad. Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Britain, Japan and the European Union, took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. Israeli troops and settlers occupied Gaza from the 1967 war until 2005, when Israeli forces and civilians withdrew from the Palestinian territory. The United Nations and many other international bodies still consider Gaza effectively occupied, although the US and Israel dispute that label.

As of last week, more than 25,000 people have been killed in Gaza since October, according to Gaza's health ministry. The United Nations estimates that 1.9 million people in Gaza, about 85 percent of the population, have been displaced. About 1,200 Israelis were killed by Hamas in the October 7 attack, which led to the current crisis.

The ad appears to include some images created using generic AI, based on aesthetics, errors in perspective, and repetition of similar facial expressions. The ad itself admits that the scenes in the first part of the ad are not real, but an imagined city without conflict. WIRED consulted two AI image-detection companies, Inhollow and Sensity, about the ad, and both said AI was used in the creation of the first part of the ad. Activists have used generative AI throughout the conflict to garner support for each side.

This ad isn't actually a deepfake, but it shows how rapid advances in generic AI can be used to create vibrant and emotional promotions. Even if people know something isn't real, the content can still influence them. Some people continue to share deepfakes, even when they depict situations that are too strange to be believable.

Sam Gregory, executive director of Witness, a nonprofit focused on using images and video to defend human rights, says the apparently AI-generated reimagining of Gaza looks like a trend on TikTok that presents alternative histories. Uses AI to do this. Here, it seems that AI is being used as “a cheap production tool” to persuade audiences or reinforce existing viewpoints, or “to generate news coverage around the use of AI,” says Gregory. They say.