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05th Jul 2023

EPIC Museum challenges ‘misleading’ AI generated image of Irish Man in new campaign

Fiona Frawley

EPIC Museum AI

“Outdated and extremely far removed from a modern-day understanding of ‘Irishness’”.

Over the past few months, AI has been called upon to rustle up everything from wedding speeches to wonton recipes, and the bot’s art generator has churned out some funky looking images too. It’s a little scary to watch on as AI generates an image of Mr Tayto eating a seagull sandwich or Daniel O’Donnell smoking a blueberry vape, but arguably even more unnerving is what comes up when you prompt an image generator to show you an ‘Irish man’.

An AI generated image of an “Irish Man” via EPIC Museum.

Following on from their ‘This is Not Us’ campaign last year, EPIC Irish Immigration Museum are continuing to confront misconceptions and stereotypes of Irishness, this time in the form of AI generated images.

Following research, EPIC uncovered that when you prompt an AI image generator to show you an
‘Irish man’, the results were, without exception, some variation of the image above. In countless tests, every generated image contained references to drinking, anger, aggression, or leprechaun-like styling. It’s these negative clichés that the museum intends to call to account. EPIC have cited this year’s Oscars or Saturday Night Live skits as an example of cheap shots still getting cheap laughs.

Aileesh Carew, CEO of EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum said “While being Irish cannot possibly be
summed up in a single image, we were surprised to find that AI generated images of the Irish are full of
outdated stereotypes. At EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, we know that being Irish is a celebration that
extends across the globe. We hope that this campaign will inspire people to look beyond stereotypes wherever they encounter them, and create meaningful conversations about the pitfalls and potentials of
AI and of course visit EPIC to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be Irish”.

For more information on the campaign and to book tickets, head to the EPIC website.

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