Ai-Generated Cat Mistaken for Sculpture in Vietnam

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Cat generated by AI causes a stir in Vietnam.
Cat generated by AI causes a stir in Vietnam (Photo: Bo Nguyen/VN Express)

An image of a cat that went viral in Vietnam, believed to be a sculpture marking the year of the cat, has turned out to be an AI-generated image.

With provinces across Vietnam erecting statues as provincial ‘mascots’ marking the Year of the Cat, the phrase “Meo Ninh Thuan (Ninh Thuan Cat)” went viral on social media this week, according to VN Express.

The image, which many took to be a real sculpture, was believed to be the mascot representing Ninh Thuan province.

However, the image was actually generated by Midjourney AI, an artificial intelligence image generator, via a prompt input by Bo Nguyen, a restaurant owner in Ho Chi Minh City. Mr. Nguyen uploaded the image to his social media profile over the weekend, and it quickly spread across the Vietnamese internet.

Actual Ninh Thuan cat
Actual Ninh Thuan Cat (Bao Moi).

Nguyen told the media that he was surprised to see his image on social media being referred to as the Ninh Thuan Cat. He says this may have happened because he had marked his hometown as Ninh Thuan.

The Midjourney image-generating AI has become popular in Vietnam, used by many enthusiasts to create images and artwork.

In January, a Vietnamese artist said that one of his original paintings published to Reddit resulted in the suspension of his account because administrators assumed it was made by artificial intelligence.