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Adobe Photoshop can now identify 'shopped images

The Content Authenticity Initiative tool can flag deepfakes and credit creators.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
October 20, 2020
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Adobe Content Authenticity Initiative tool comes to Photoshop
Adobe

Adobe has unveiled a new attribution tool for Photoshop that will help consumers better understand the authenticity of images while giving proper credit to creators. Part of Adobe’s open source Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI), the prototype feature will allow creators to add their name, location and edit history to photos, among other tags. That will create what Adobe calls a “tamper evident” paper trail for an image, allowing users to identify authentic versus deepfake images and even see how they were created.

Adobe first launched CAI with Twitter and the New York Times in the wake of numerous instances of fake and altered images. Since then, Adobe has collaborated with its launch partners, along with Microsoft, the BBC, Qualcomm and others to create the prototype tool.

In a video example (above), Adobe demonstrated a composite image created using someone’s face keyed over a stock photo. Using the attribution tool, Photoshop could automatically tag it with the original photographer’s credit, the creator who produced the composite and the exact editing activities used — in this case, an AI assist for the key, imported assets and a transformation. However, Adobe noted that the feature can be turned off altogether, so it can only track authentic content if creators want that.

Images exported to Behance show the same information, including the app used. If you want to see more information, you can get a full report from Adobe’s new website (verify.contentauthenticity.org), and even see a split-screen showing the original stock photo versus the final composite image.

The tool only works for images, but Adobe and its partners plan to eventually expand it for other types of media, including video — something that could help weed out deepfakes. For now, it’s still in the testing phase and would require wide adoption by publishers, artists and even rivals to Photoshop before it could become useful. However, Adobe called the launch of the prototype tool in Photoshop a “huge leap forward” for the technology. It will be available to select customers in Photoshop and Behance via a beta release in the coming weeks.

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