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

WHO scientists used Photoshop to doctor images in cancer research

Researchers affiliated with WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have been exposed for manipulating images in multiple research papers they have published over the years.

Between 2005 and 2014, Massimo Tommasino, head of Infections and Cancer Biology Group at IARC in Lyon, France, and his former colleague there Uzma Hasan, had published multiple papers with doctored images.

Manipulated photos in studies can generally be anything from those of microscopic views of cells or tissues, images of glowing gels indicating chemical concentrations, or even graphical representation of data. There can be dire consequences to tweaking an image in a research paper.

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Source: The Next Web

Fake America great again

Guess what? I just got hold of some embarrassing video footage of Texas senator Ted Cruz singing and gyrating to Tina Turner. His political enemies will have great fun showing it during the midterms. Donald Trump will call him “Dancin’ Ted.”

Okay, I’ll admit it—I created the video myself. But here’s the troubling thing: making it required very little video-editing skill. I downloaded and configured software that uses machine learning to perform a convincing digital face-swap. The resulting video, known as a deepfake, shows Cruz’s distinctively droopy eyes stitched onto the features of actor Paul Rudd doing lip-sync karaoke. It isn’t perfect—there’s something a little off—but it might fool some people.

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Source: Technology Review

Source: Technology Review