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Sony's Camera Authenticity Tech Counters AI Manipulation in Photos

Apps like Midjourney empower users to create AI art, while some leverage AI to manipulate real-life camera photos.

The acceptability of this practice is subjective. Sony, acknowledging the potential dangers, is taking steps to counter the rising prevalence of AI-altered photos, aiming to maintain a clear distinction between authentic and AI-generated or manipulated images.

To achieve this, Sony has entered into a partnership with The Associated Press (AP), a non-profit news agency in the US, and Camera Bits, the software company behind Photo Mechanic.

Together, they've completed a second round of testing for Sony’s in-camera authenticity technology. This technology, focused on establishing a "birth certificate for images," involves embedding a digital signature within the image.

This digital signature facilitates a straightforward verification process for photos. Sony characterizes this innovation as "an extra layer of security," designed to assist news agencies in combating the proliferation of manipulated imagery.

sony camera

David Ake, AP Director of Photography, emphasizes the significance of addressing fake and manipulated images, stating, “Fake and manipulated images are a major concern for news organizations.

Not only do they contribute to mis- and disinformation, but ultimately, they erode the public’s trust in factual, accurate imagery.”

Furthermore, Sony has collaborated with Camera Bits to enable the editing of these photos while preserving the digital signature. Even with metadata edits, the digital signature remains intact.

This feature ensures that news organizations can easily verify the authenticity of an image, a significant advancement for photojournalism.

Sony's President Neal Manowitz expresses growing concerns about the impact of altered or manipulated imagery in journalism.

The newly added security feature to Sony's cameras is expected to effectively address these concerns.

While AI-generated photos will continue to exist, particularly in non-sensitive contexts, Sony's focus is on preserving the authenticity of real-life events through human-driven photojournalism.

Firmware updates are planned for three of Sony’s cameras—Alpha 9 III, Alpha 1, and Alpha 7S III—in Spring 2024 to implement these authentication technologies.


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