Report of Actor Dying of Cosmetic Surgery Appears to be AI Hoax

Image copyright: Instagram/papaxxzy [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • A report that 22-year-old Canadian-Portuguese actor, singer, and songwriter, Saint Von Colucci, died after undergoing 12 plastic surgeries — worth over $200k — to look like K-pop star Jimin appears to be a hoax, as it's now believed the celebrity was the creation of artificial intelligence (AI), according to Al Jazeera.

  • News of the alleged death and surgeries gained notoriety following a Daily Mail story published on April 24, which was later picked up by other agencies. The British-based news outlet has since removed the story without issuing a retraction.

The Spin

Narrative A

Though this story has provided entertainment for readers and generated clicks for media outlets, the dark truth is that this perfectly displays the perilous state our journalistic institutions are in. The red flags were everywhere from the beginning, but the Daily Mail chose to run an obviously phony story simply because it garnered website clicks. No matter the story, journalists are supposed to scrutinize each piece of information they receive before publishing it as fact.

Narrative B

While it is still relatively easy to spot fake images online, the time will come when even expert journalists won't be able to tell the difference between AI-generated pictures and stories. While silly fake celebrity stories may not affect the public too much, the danger comes when the most serious of issues in public debate are a confusing mix of truth and indiscernible lies.

Metaculus Prediction

Articles on this story

Sign up to our daily newsletter