Apps like Midjourney let you make AI art, but some even use AI to manipulate their real-life camera photos. Whether you deem that to be acceptable or not is up to you. However, Sony recognizes the dangers of that and wants to combat the ever-increasing presence of AI photos. The company wants to ensure that a distinction between real photos and AI-generated (or manipulated) photos continues to exist.
For that, Sony has partnered with The Associated Press (AP), which is a non-profit news agency in the US, along with Camera Bits, a software company that made Photo Mechanic. Together, they have confirmed that ‘a second round of testing‘ has been completed for Sony’s in-camera authenticity technology.
Focused on essentially creating a ‘birth certificate for images,’ this in-camera authenticity technology involves having a digital signature on the image. With this, the verification of a photo becomes a very easy process. Sony describes its new tech as ‘an extra layer of security‘ and aims to help news agencies ‘in their fight against falsified imagery‘.
“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,” – David Ake, AP Director of Photography.
Moreover, Sony has worked with Camera Bits to allow these photos to be edited with the digital signature intact. The Photo Mechanic software that we mentioned is actually a widely used tool in the photography industry. Even after all the metadata editing in the photo, the digital signature will be preserved. So, despite edits, news organizations should be able to verify an image’s authenticity easily. This is a major win for photojournalism!
Sony’s President Neal Manowitz has growing concerns over the impact of ‘altered or manipulated imagery in journalism.’ It looks like these will be dealt with successfully, following the newly added security feature by Sony to its cameras. Photos made by AI will exist, no matter what. But when it concerns real-life events, especially sensitive ones, authentic photojournalism by humans is required.
Three of Sony’s cameras: Alpha 9 III, Alpha 1, and Alpha 7S III, will all get firmware updates in Spring 2024 that will enable these authentication technologies.
What are your thoughts on Sony’s new addition, which helps fight against the growing concerns of AI-manipulated photos? Do you find the new security feature useful? Let us know in the comments below.