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Distracted boyfriend meme brought to life by AI – and it’s horrifying | Tech News

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The 'distracted boyfriend' meme

The ‘distracted boyfriend’ meme has been an internet staple for years (Picture: Getty/iStockphoto)

Almost a decade after the now infamous ‘distracted boyfriend’ meme hit our screens, it has finally been given an update for the times – courtesy of artificial intelligence (AI).

Yes, animations of the hilarious, and often relatable, scene have now been created using AI to show ‘what happened next’ for the three stars of the internet favourite.

Except they really don’t. 

If you’re hoping for the girlfriend to storm off, or perhaps the woman in red to flip the bird at the boyfriend, you’re in for disappointment. Sadly these snippets show only a second’s aftermath – and they’re dividing opinion on X, formerly Twitter.

Largely it’s just AI proving once again that it still struggles with hands, one version giving the girlfriend a hand and arm that change shape before our eyes – as does her face.

In another, the woman in red does turn around and give the boyfriend a good glare – while her clothes magically morph into what appears to be a brown jacket, like an M&S superwoman.

We joke of course. The motion memes still showcase the incredible ability of AI in 2023, and it’s only going to get better – or worse, depending on your point of view.

X user @fofrAI started the trend last week, sharing their animated version of the meme. It is arguably the least scary, as the woman in red walks off and the girlfriend’s look of disgust turns to into a very exaggerated grimace.

This prompted another user, @burconsult, to share his own clips.

The X community appeared to both enjoy and recoil at the memes, with one user saying: ‘Okay AI needs to be stopped.’

Another said: ‘This is very creepy.’ 

More: Trending

Users also noticed strange things happening to the meme stars’ faces, with one person writing: ‘I love how the woman in red started to face morph [sic] into some creature at the end.’

They also noted how cars and people magically appeared and disappeared in the background.

But come on people, this isn’t Hollywood, give them a break. As @burconsult noted, ‘this is months old technology’.

Of course, the only people whose opinions we really want are the three in the meme, but that could be tricky.

The couple in the image are known only as Mario and Laura, and have chosen to remain anonymous since their image went viral.

In a rare interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Laura said: ‘For me it was a curious and funny photo shoot, especially when we had to make the photos like the meme, more humorous. 

‘When people saw us simulate those scenes in the street, they stopped to look and laugh. In my case I had to have a more serious face, and I had a hard time to keeping it.’

The photo was taken on the streets of Girona in Catalonia, Spain, by photographer Antonio Guillem.

In the years since, Laura has been labelled ‘books’, ‘bread’ and ‘capitalism’ among many others, while the woman in the red dress gets the far better end of the deal as ‘the solar eclipse’, ‘avocado toast’ and ‘socialism’.


MORE : Just an FYI, the Distracted Boyfriend meme has been around since 1922


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