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


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

The dangerous new technology that will make us question our basic idea of reality

US president Donald Trump—fake-news provocateur—now denies that the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape is real.

Of course we know that the recording, in which he makes lewd remarks about sexually assaulting women, is authentic. Everyone has seen and heard it, Billy Bush was fired because of it, and Trump himself confirmed that it was him in a video statement last October. Except for die-hard Trump supporters, few will probably believe the president’s attack on the authenticity of the recording. But Trump’s assertions foreshadow a fight for reality that might become too real, too soon.

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Source: Quartz

Source: Quartz