Image of ‘Taj Mahal under construction’ is AI generated


An AI-generated image of a building covered in scaffolding has been shared repeatedly in social media posts, falsely claiming to show India’s iconic Taj Mahal during construction in 1632. The Instagram user who first posted the image said it was created using the generative AI tool Midjourney.

“One of the seven wonders of the world is the Taj Mahal. This is a photo of the Taj Mahal during its construction in 1632,” said a Bengali speaker Facebook post from June 11, 2024.

The accompanying black-and-white photo shows a structure resembling the iconic Indian monument, surrounded by scaffolding.

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum of white marble, commissioned by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to house his wife’s grave Mumtaz Mahallocated on the Yamuna River in the North Indian city of Agra (archived link).

Construction began around 1631 and the main mausoleum of the Taj Complex was completed in 1648.

<span>Screenshot of the fake post, taken on July 4, 2024.</span>” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTEwNTA-/″/><span><knop klasse=

Screenshot of the fake message, taken on July 4, 2024.

The image was shared in similar Facebook posts here And here.

AI generated image

At the bottom of the photo is a watermark with the text “Jyojohnmulloor”.

A keyword search yielded a Instagram post from April 4, 2023, which showed the photo alongside several similar images of a dome structure under construction (archived link).

The Instagram post read: “A glimpse into the past! Shah Jahan’s incredible legacy, the Taj Mahal, captured during its construction. Grateful to share these rare photos and his permission letter with you all.”

There was also a disclaimer that the images were created using Midjourney, a tool that generates images using language prompts.

Below is a screenshot of the photo shared in the fake posts (left) and posted on Instagram (right):

<span>Screenshot comparison of the photo shared in the fake posts (left) and posted on Instagram (right)</span>” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTQ4NQ–/”/><span><knop klasse=

Screenshot comparison of the photo shared in the fake posts (left) and posted on Instagram (right)

The Instagram user’s bio states that all of the “artwork” on the page was created using AI.

AI detection tool Hive Moderation also found that the image likely contained AI-generated content.

Moreover, construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631, almost two centuries before the first camera was invented in 1816 (archived link).

AFP has debunked other cases where AI-generated images were presented as authentic here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top