An article by Simone Cosimi on Repubblica.it re-sings the old refrain of “the computer is stronger than a human playing chess” in the variant “Go” (which is a Chinese game, but that the journalist qualifies with Japanese terms about a Korean player, despite being the game known and played for centuries in Japan and Korea).
A semantic rigour aside, that a computer – or better, a software, can be “stronger” than a human being – is hardly a news. Everyone who plays chess knows that, having honed their skills with the many programs, some really excellent, available to the general public. As it is hardly a news the fact that the software is so advanced as to put in difficulty professionals or even champions.
But from here, to say – or to suggest – that we are dealing with a system that is more “intelligent” than Man, there is a huge gap. It would be like saying that since a mechanical arm makes perfect welds that no human being can replicate, it should be considered as able to “think”.
The problem, here, is the absence – or rather the disappearance – of the “neuter” genre in the language, because the trick of the narrative about “artificial” intelligence is in the words. Software does neither “learn” or “understand” but simply modifies its functioning at various levels of autonomy. Continue reading ““AI” and the importance of “Neuter””
The answer is: people won’t because “stock photos” are meant to be “burners”, a quick way to illustrate a presentation, a blog post or a column with no actual intrinsic value.
I just need a picture of a man in powersuit doing business. If the image is good enough, why should I pay for something “more”?
True, photography is now an ubiquitous activity and what previously was a niche job, now is practiced by almost everybody on Earth. But that’s not a bad thing, as it raises the stake for photographers compelling them to produce better and better images.
Getty Images business model’s change is a way to get photography and photographer back to their original place: only great photography deserve to be “respected” and “paid”.
The rest, is just for stock services…
As Adobe states on its website,
This new research is part of a broader effort across Adobe to better detect image, video, audio and document manipulations. Past Adobe research focused on image manipulation detection from splicing, cloning, and removal, whereas this effort focuses on the Face Aware Liquify feature in Photoshop because itâ€™s popular for adjusting facial features, including making adjustments to facial expressions. The featureâ€™s effects can be delicate which made it an intriguing test case for detecting both drastic and subtle alterations to faces.
The first reaction would be something along “who cares? There are plenty of tools to create my deep fakes, so… screw Adobe!” But that would be a rather dull conclusion, as by developing these technologies (assumed that they work properly) Adobe is creating a (big and wide) market niche. Continue reading “Adobe’s About Face: useless feature or stroke of genius?”
This article published by Il Fatto Quotidiano is illustrated by a photo that portrays a policeman from the mobile team of Rome and an arrested man whose image is blurred. Not, as you might think without seeing it, on the face that also has a winking expression towards the photographer, but on the hand that is shaped in the pose (the thumb raised) universally become synonymous with “I like it”.
The expression of the arrested subject is disturbing because it is no different from that of a star crossing the red carpet of a film festival or a sports champion celebrating a victory. And it reinforces the mistaken perception – further distorted by television series such as Narcos and Gomorrah – that there is an aesthetic of evil in the name of which, by committing atrocious acts, one can become famous.
This “right thumb” attached to the hand of an ordinary person accused of a crime obviously means that from the desire for a “moment of glory” experienced in film/television fiction we have moved on to the lust of a celebrity at all costs, including that of becoming a protagonist of a crime story.
I don’t know who (whether the photographer or the newspaper) has made the choice to blur the anatomical detail of the arrested, but in both cases I can’t find a reasonable explanation, except for the one that, by now, even the thumbs have a right to their privacy.
There is nothing wrong in having a spot on the chin, a pale look or other somatic peculiarities. We are how we are. Full stop.
Of course, everybody has the right to self-retouch his appearance (what does aesthetic-surgery is for?) but that should be a personal (and non-questionable) choice.
In contrast, supporting the idea that a kid’s photo should be photoshopped to have him look better is just plain wrong. It inculcates into kids’ minds that they have something “wrong” and, therefore, that they ARE “wrong”.
Leave kids shine for the beauty of their age, and leave photoretouching, make up and surgery to “growth” adults who forgot what really matter.