The sudden spread of fake videos and pictures all around the internet has made the world become increasingly anxious which has made Adobe — a name known for image editing — say it shares the same concerns too.
Today, Adobe in collaboration with scientists from UC Berkeley is sharing it new research which uses machine learning to automatically detect when an image have been altered/manipulated.
A spokesperson told The Verge that the research was just one of many “efforts across Adobe to better detect image, video, audio and document manipulations“, despite the company saying it doesn’t have plans to commercialize this product
said the company in a blog post.
“Fake content is a serious and increasingly pressing issue.”
This research is designed to specifically spot edits made with Photoshop’s Liquify tool, which is commonly used to adjust the shape of faces and alter facial expressions.
The researchers said the work was the first of its kind designed to spot these sort of facial edits, and constitutes an “important step” toward creating tools that can identify complex changes including “body manipulations and photometric edits such as skin smoothing.”
“The idea of a magic universal ‘undo’ button to revert image edits is still far from reality,” Adobe researcher Richard Zhang, who helped conduct the work, said in a company blog post. “But we live in a world where it’s becoming harder to trust the digital information we consume, and I look forward to further exploring this area of research.”
While the research is promising, tools like this are no silver bullet for stopping the harmful effects of manipulated media. As we’ve seen with the spread of fake news, even if content is obviously false or can be quickly debunked, it will still be shared and embraced on social media. Knowing something is fake is only half the battle, but at least it’s a start.