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Thursday, January 3, 2019

A QUESTION

I am vaguely aware of what is called photoshopping, and of course I have watched innumerable movies with special effects -- Avatar, for example.  My question:  Can a frame by frame, pixel by pixel examination of such productions reveal that they are not real unaltered photographs?  For example, if a seemingly realistic video surfaced of Trump talking with Kushner about dirty dealing with Russia, could an examination of it show whether it was real?

I need answers for my fantasy life.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, there are sophisticated tools that use AI to determine if something is off. Whether such evidence is taken seriously in courts is a whole another matter.

Dean said...

See this, for example: http://imageedited.com/about.html It summarizes various characteristics an expert would analyze to determine the likelihood that an image has been edited.

Michael said...

The popular public radio show Radiolab actually did an episode exploring these themes. See https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/breaking-news. They even made this mock up. http://futureoffakenews.com/.

So while it should be possible for experts to tell the fakes (for now at least), it's certainly true that fake news will be much easier to spread. Disconcerting.

Tom Hickey said...

Much more difficult to prove a negative than a positive.

Now that sophisticated editing techniques are available and "evolving," everything is suspect, so that seeing is no longer believing . Sorry, but uncertainty prevails.

(But being a philosopher, I assume you already knew that there are no absolute criteria in a relative universe. All "absolute" criteria are stipulations in model construction. Humans need to tell themselves stories in order to establish a foothold. )

Jerry Fresia said...

Pixel by pixel? No.

Matt said...

You can use a tool like this:

http://fotoforensics.com/

It does a special kind of mathematical transformation that can make certain kinds of editing obvious. I don't know if the professionals can fool it. If you want to see some examples of transformed images, look here:

http://fotoforensics.com/messages.php?challenge=1

Anonymous said...

It's an arms race between the forgers and the detectives, as per usual: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/12/30/fake-porn-videos-are-being-weaponized-harass-humiliate-women-everybody-is-potential-target/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.23aa11a03577

If it hasn't already happened definitively, we will definitely see conflicts (or there will definitely be conflicts, even if we don't see them) in the next few years resulting from faked audio/video.

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Anonymous said...

Yes and no. Sometimes the proof is like hoax UFO evidence: if the artifacts of construction are visual, people are convinced by the "pixels and frames" evidence of suturing. But technical proof may consist of somewhat other than visual evidence of authenticity. So it is never a slam dunk when there is nothing to do but trust the technicians, unless there is corroborating evidence. For a parallel example take the use of DNA/ancestry evidence in criminal investigations. It functions in a nexus of gumshoe work, testimony and circumstantial evidence.

There is software developed by Adobe (among others) that can use audio and video samples of a subject's own facial image and voice to construct a seamless shot of the person speaking whatever you want them to say. So analyzing that "pixel wise" would be like asking someone watching a ventriloquist act if the dummy is really speaking. Of course they would answer 'no' but not because of their experience of the show.

Am not even taking into account the increasingly common outrageous discrediting of scientific practice here, so my "yes and no" also stands for not idealizing what forum you're presenting such evidence in.