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Two Malaysians including KK teacher stake claim on ‘All Eyes on Rafah’ image making waves worldwide
Published on: Tuesday, June 04, 2024
By: Malay Mail
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Two Malaysians including KK teacher stake claim on ‘All Eyes on Rafah’ image making waves worldwide
The image on the left shows the 'All Eyes on Rafah' AI-generated poster by Zila Abka which was shared on Facebook group 'Prompters Malaya'. The image on the right shows the AI-generated poster created by Amirul Shah as shared on his Instagram account. (Screen captures: Facebook/Zila Abka and Instagram/Shahv4012 via Malay Mail)
Kuala Lumpur: Even as the “All Eyes on Rafah” picture that spotlights Israel’s assault against Palestinian refugees continues to garner global attention with over 50 million reposts on social media platforms, two Malaysians have claimed credit for creating the artificial intelligence (AI) image.

One is Zila Abka, a 39-year-old science teacher from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah who first posted the image on the Facebook page of a group called Prompters Malaya on February 14 as reported by local news portal Sinar Daily on May 31.

The other is Amirul Shah, a 21-year-old college student from the Malaysian capital city who goes by the moniker Shahv4012 on Instagram where he first posted the image, as reported yesterday by a US-based media organisation called NPR (short for National Public Radio).

“I wanted to spread and highlight the issue and hoped that everybody would do whatever they could to show solidarity with Gazans right now,” Zila was quoted as saying in the NPR article published yesterday.

She claimed to have written a prompt to create an image using Microsoft’s Image Creator and put two watermarks on it to indicate that it was AI generated, and that she was its creator before uploading it on Facebook almost five months ago.

Amirul also claimed to have used Microsoft's Image Creator to generate the AI image, but can’t remember the details of how he did it.

The photography enthusiast told NPR that he had not seen Zila’s AI picture before he created the “All Eyes on Rafah” image that bears his watermark and is tagged @chaa.my_ on Instagram, which was also shared by singer Dua Lipa and model Bella Hadid.

“My intention was not for popularity. I wanted to uphold justice for all Palestinians who are there,” Amirul told NPR.

Both images look very similar with identical word size, letter placement, and tent clusters, but Amirul’s shows a higher aerial view with longer shadows from snowy mountains.

Zila claimed that Amirul took her image, edited it, and turned it into an Instagram template that's gone viral, reaching nearly 50 million shares on Instagram and millions more elsewhere.

She believes he cropped her image above her watermarks, then used AI to expand and reimagine its background.

“Everything about the structure of the words and the arrangement of the tents, it’s all the same, except for the expanded part.

“When I saw it, I thought, yeah, I think this is mine,” Zila told NPR, adding that while AI-generated images are not fully original, her prompts that resulted in its creation should be acknowledged.

According to NPR, Amirul blocked its reporter on Instagram after being told about Zila’s claims.

NPR said it also used Microsoft's Image Creator to see if it could also generate a similar image to what both Zila and Amirul claim as theirs, but found that it could not.

The news outlet said its attempts failed because the AI generator could not spell “All eyes on Rafah” correctly, noting that this is a common limit with similar AI image generators.

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