AI-Generated Faces in the Real World: A Large-Scale Case Study of Twitter Profile Images
Jonas Ricker, Dennis Assenmacher, Thorsten Holz, Asja Fischer, and Erwin Quiring
Under Review
Abstract Paper
Recent advances in the field of generative artificial intelligence (AI) have blurred the lines between authentic and machine-generated content, making it almost impossible for humans to distinguish between such media. One notable consequence is the use of AI-generated images for fake profiles on social media. While several types of disinformation campaigns and similar incidents have been reported in the past, a systematic analysis has been lacking. In this work, we conduct the first large-scale investigation of the prevalence of AI-generated profile pictures on Twitter. We tackle the challenges of a real-world measurement study by carefully integrating various data sources and designing a multi-stage detection pipeline. Our analysis of nearly 15 million Twitter profile pictures shows that 0.052% were artificially generated, confirming their notable presence on the platform. We comprehensively examine the characteristics of these accounts and their tweet content, and uncover patterns of coordinated inauthentic behavior. The results also reveal several motives, including spamming and political amplification campaigns. Our research reaffirms the need for effective detection and mitigation strategies to cope with the potential negative effects of generative AI in the future.

Single-Model Attribution of Generative Models Through Final-Layer Inversion
Mike Laszkiewicz, Jonas Ricker, Johannes Lederer, and Asja Fischer
International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML)
Abstract Paper
Recent breakthroughs in generative modeling have sparked interest in practical single-model attribution. Such methods predict whether a sample was generated by a specific generator or not, for instance, to prove intellectual property theft. However, previous works are either limited to the closed-world setting or require undesirable changes to the generative model. We address these shortcomings by, first, viewing single-model attribution through the lens of anomaly detection. Arising from this change of perspective, we propose FLIPAD, a new approach for single-model attribution in the open-world setting based on final-layer inversion and anomaly detection. We show that the utilized final-layer inversion can be reduced to a convex lasso optimization problem, making our approach theoretically sound and computationally efficient. The theoretical findings are accompanied by an experimental study demonstrating the effectiveness of our approach and its flexibility to various domains.

AEROBLADE: Training-Free Detection of Latent Diffusion Images Using Autoencoder Reconstruction Error
Jonas Ricker, Denis Lukovnikov, and Asja Fischer
IEEE/CVF Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference (CVPR)
Abstract Paper Code
With recent text-to-image models, anyone can generate deceptively realistic images with arbitrary contents, fueling the growing threat of visual disinformation. A key enabler for generating high-resolution images with low computational cost has been the development of latent diffusion models (LDMs). In contrast to conventional diffusion models, LDMs perform the denoising process in the low-dimensional latent space of a pre-trained autoencoder (AE) instead of the high-dimensional image space. Despite their relevance, the forensic analysis of LDMs is still in its infancy. In this work we propose AEROBLADE, a novel detection method which exploits an inherent component of LDMs: the AE used to transform images between image and latent space. We find that generated images can be more accurately reconstructed by the AE than real images, allowing for a simple detection approach based on the reconstruction error. Most importantly, our method is easy to implement and does not require any training, yet nearly matches the performance of detectors that rely on extensive training. We empirically demonstrate that AEROBLADE is effective against state-of-the-art LDMs, including Stable Diffusion and Midjourney. Beyond detection, our approach allows for the qualitative analysis of images, which can be leveraged for identifying inpainted regions. We release our code and data at

A Representative Study on Human Detection of Artificially Generated Media Across Countries
Joel Frank, Franziska Herbert, Jonas Ricker, Lea Schönherr, Thorsten Eisenhofer, Asja Fischer, Markus Dürmuth, and Thorsten Holz
IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P)
Abstract Paper Code
AI-generated media has become a threat to our digital society as we know it. These forgeries can be created automatically and on a large scale based on publicly available technology. Recognizing this challenge, academics and practitioners have proposed a multitude of automatic detection strategies to detect such artificial media. However, in contrast to these technical advances, the human perception of generated media has not been thoroughly studied yet. In this paper, we aim at closing this research gap. We perform the first comprehensive survey into people's ability to detect generated media, spanning three countries (USA, Germany, and China) with 3,002 participants across audio, image, and text media. Our results indicate that state-of-the-art forgeries are almost indistinguishable from "real" media, with the majority of participants simply guessing when asked to rate them as human- or machine-generated. In addition, AI-generated media receive is voted more human like across all media types and all countries. To further understand which factors influence people's ability to detect generated media, we include personal variables, chosen based on a literature review in the domains of deepfake and fake news research. In a regression analysis, we found that generalized trust, cognitive reflection, and self-reported familiarity with deepfakes significantly influence participant's decision across all media categories.

Towards the Detection of Diffusion Model Deepfakes
Jonas Ricker, Simon Damm, Thorsten Holz, and Asja Fischer
International Conference on Computer Vision Theory and Applications (VISAPP)
Abstract Paper Code
In the course of the past few years, diffusion models (DMs) have reached an unprecedented level of visual quality. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the detection of DM-generated images, which is critical to prevent adverse impacts on our society. In contrast, generative adversarial networks (GANs), have been extensively studied from a forensic perspective. In this work, we therefore take the natural next step to evaluate whether previous methods can be used to detect images generated by DMs. Our experiments yield two key findings: (1) state-of-the-art GAN detectors are unable to reliably distinguish real from DM-generated images, but (2) re-training them on DM-generated images allows for almost perfect detection, which remarkably even generalizes to GANs. Together with a feature space analysis, our results lead to the hypothesis that DMs produce fewer detectable artifacts and are thus more difficult to detect compared to GANs. One possible reason for this is the absence of grid-like frequency artifacts in DM-generated images, which are a known weakness of GANs. However, we make the interesting observation that diffusion models tend to underestimate high frequencies, which we attribute to the learning objective.