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23 Feb, 2024 21:29

Israeli Foreign Minister faces Brazilian backlash over AI image

The unfortunate X post by Israel Katz comes amid a row with President Lula
Israeli Foreign Minister faces Brazilian backlash over AI image

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Friday shared an image intended to shame Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but managing mainly to get mocked for many glitches in its AI design.

“No one will separate our people – not even you, Lula da Silva. Shabbat Shalom!” Katz posted on X (formerly Twitter), in both Brazilian Portuguese and Hebrew.

The post was illustrated with an image supposedly depicting Israeli-Brazilian friendship, clearly produced by one of the artificial intelligence (AI) models available to the public.

Among the picture’s many sins was getting both the Israeli and the Brazilian flags wrong, having people’s faces not resemble anything human, and having too many hands and elbows – or not enough. All of them were ridiculed by Brazilian X accounts with tens of thousands of followers.

“I don’t know what’s worse, this ordeal or Lula making fun of Obama. Each one with their fetishes,” said one X user, pointing to figures that vaguely resembled the current Brazilian and the former US president, featuring impossible anatomical configurations. 

Several people noticed that the phrase “Ordem e Progresso” (Order and Progress) on the Brazilian flag has been replaced with nonsensical words, which some Brazilians parsed as downright offensive.

One Israeli X user pointed to the inhuman faces, asking Katz “Is that you there?” Moreover, the two jerseys up front that were supposed to say “Brazil” and “Israel” didn’t quite manage to do so.

“Just stop carrying out ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian population and our differences will be resolved. It was never Brazil’s intention to break relations with any people,” said one researcher with over 100k followers.

Earlier this week, Israel declared Lula persona non grata and accused him of anti-Semitism for likening the ongoing carnage in Gaza with the Holocaust during WWII. Katz announced that this would last until Lula “takes back” his remarks, which the Brazilian president refused to do. Lula responded by recalling the Brazilian ambassador from Tel Aviv. 

Judging by the reactions on X, many Brazilians supported their president. One user responded to the Israeli FM with a higher-quality AI image, showing Brazil making peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, with the caption “No one will separate our peoples – not even you, Israel Katz.”

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