The FBI Says Its Photo Analysis Is Scientific Evidence. Scientists Disagree.

At the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, a team of about a half-dozen technicians analyzes pictures down to their pixels, trying to determine if the faces, hands, clothes or cars of suspects match images collected by investigators from cameras at crime scenes.

The unit specializes in visual evidence and facial identification, and its examiners can aid investigations by making images sharper, revealing key details in a crime or ruling out potential suspects.

But the work of image examiners has never had a strong scientific foundation, and the FBI’s endorsement of the unit’s findings as trial evidence troubles many experts and raises anew questions about the role of the FBI Laboratory as a standard-setter in forensic science.

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Source: ProPublica.org

Source: ProPublica.org


How an InfoWars Video Became a White House Tweet

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shared a video Wednesday evening of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s interaction with President Trump and a White House intern to defend the White House’s decision to revoke Acosta’s press pass. A WIRED review of Sanders’ video reveals that it originated with conservative media sites and was presented in a way that makes the incident seem more dramatic than it was. Images from the video may not have been altered, but the effect is potentially misleading to viewers.

In releasing the video, Sanders said it offered proof of Acosta’s “inappropriate behavior” with the intern. But differences between Sanders’ video and an unedited version of the incident led to charges Wednesday that the White House had altered the video for political purposes.

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Source: Wired

Source: Wired

In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing?

In 2011, Hany Farid, a photo-forensics expert, received an e-mail from a bereaved father. Three years earlier, the man’s son had found himself on the side of the road with a car that wouldn’t start. When some strangers offered him a lift, he accepted. A few minutes later, for unknown reasons, they shot him. A surveillance camera had captured him as he walked toward their car, but the video was of such low quality that key details, such as faces, were impossible to make out. The other car’s license plate was visible only as an indecipherable jumble of pixels. The father could see the evidence that pointed to his son’s killers—just not clearly enough.

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Source: The New Yorker