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Quiz: Can You Tell What’s Real and What’s AI?

Artificial intelligence is still mystifying despite all the attention it gets

spinner image portraits of people some of which are real and some of which are generated by artificial intelligence
"Things are not always what they seem," said Greek philosopher Phaedrus more than 2,400 years ago. With artificial intelligence bots creating images and video today, those words of warning are even more true. Two of the portraits above were fabricated by AI. Can you tell which ones? We'll tell you at the end of the quiz.
Photo Collage: AARP; (Source: Getty Images (4); Shutterstock.AI (2))

When San Francisco startup OpenAI unleashed a free version of ChatGPT in November 2022 and became the fastest-growing app in history, artificial intelligence (AI) seemed ready for prime time.

ChatGPT ignited an AI arms race among tech royalty, and after laying low for decades, AI itself entered the public consciousness. Yet despite a flood of news, information, debate and hype around AI since then, what AI is and can do remains a mystery to many.

Take this quiz to test your knowledge of AI.

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Question 1 of 12:

Answers from an AI chatbot that seem plausible but are wrong or made up are referred to as:

The tech community has embraced “hallucination” to stress the fact that AIs often spit out stuff that is made up. You should verify all information from an AI.

Question 2 of 12:

True or false? AI results are the same as search results:

AI results and traditional search results sometimes complement or appear next to each other, but the two should be thought of differently. While people have gotten used to computers giving answers, Google executive Jack Krawczyk says AI tools give us “possibilities.”

Question 3 of 12:

Generative AI can be defined as a type of artificial intelligence that:

As its name suggests, generative AI is about generating content. And that content can be words, computer code, pictures and video.

Question 4 of 12:

The free version of ChatGPT is up to date as of:

The free version of ChatGPT, known as GPT 3.5, was trained with data only up to January 2022. ChatGPT 4.0, available for GPT+ subscribers, was trained up through September 2023. Despite that cutoff date, GPT 4.0 may be able to tell you about more recent events by leveraging research from Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Microsoft is a leading investor in ChatGPT developer OpenAI.

Question 5 of 12:

Which one of these portraits was generated by an AI?




spinner image a man on a blue background



spinner image a man on a green background



spinner image a woman on a pink background



spinner image a woman on a yellow background

The man in front of a blue background isn't real. He was created using Shutterstock’s AI image generator.

Question 6 of 12:

What clues can tip off users that an image is fake and produced by an AI?

Despite the cliché, seeing is not always believing. So-called deepfakes appear to show people doing or saying something they have not actually done or said.

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Question 7 of 12:

Who or what are watermarks?

Companies such as Adobe, Facebook owner Meta, Microsoft, Midjourney and OpenAI are pushing watermarks and other technological solutions to help folks identify artificially generated images. But at this stage, none is perfect.

Question 8 of 12:

Which one of these images is real?




spinner image a rabbit eating lettuce



spinner image a cat looking out a window



spinner image a dog sleeping on a chair



spinner image a hamster in a cage

Three out of four of these cute animals come from the imagination of an AI bot. The hamster is real.

Question 9 of 12:

Which of these is not a recommended use for AI?

Because an AI chatbot’s answers aren’t always reliable, using it to write a court document is not only unethical but also potentially damaging. In June 2023, a U.S. judge sanctioned New York lawyers for submitting a brief with fictitious legal citations that ChatGPT fabricated.

Question 10 of 12:

Scammers may lean on artificial intelligence to:

While the bad guys have a number of AI tools at their disposal, the government is fighting back. In February, the Federal Communications Commission banned robocalls that contain AI-generated voices and hopes to use AI itself to combat fraud. And President Biden issued an executive order in October to establish standards for AI safety, security and trustworthiness.

Question 11 of 12:

Which of these is not an AI chatbot?

Prominent AI chatbots include Claude; Gemini, formerly Google Bard; and Copilot, formerly Bing Chat. All are rivals of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Android is the smartphone operating system that Google designed but is not itself an AI bot.

Question 12 of 12:

Who or what is Sora?

Sora, not yet available to the public, can deliver video scenes of up to a minute based on a user’s text prompt. OpenAI is now testing Sora to prevent bias, misinformation and other potential dangers.

You have unanswered questions. Please go back and complete those questions to finish the quiz.

Are you still wondering which of the portraits at the top of this quiz came from an AI bot?

In the top row, right, the woman with the pink background was generated by AI, and in the bottom row the man in front of a green background is not real.

Answer photo credits: Getty Images (4); Shutterstock.AI (4).

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