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Image Too Good to Be True? DARPA Program Targets Image Doctoring


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President Barack Obama made light of his wife's new bangs with a mock picture of himself with the same hairdo in this humorous photo created by the White House shown at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working to develop a toolset that can detect alterations to images.

Credit: Reuters

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to develop an easy-to-use toolset to detect altered images. The agency says current media forensic tools lack depth and the process of media authentication, as a consequence, "is typically performed manually using a variety of ad hoc methods that are often more art than science."

To make the process more rigorous and consistent, DARPA has launched the Media Forensics (MediFor) program. According to DARPA, MediFor will have three central elements. The first is looking for digital integrity indicators, elements within a digital image that could indicate it has been altered; these include edge discontinuities, blurred pixels, and repeated image regions. The second element is physical integrity indicators, aspects of the scene depicted in the image that violate the laws of physics, indicating the image has been manipulated. The technology would involve examining characteristics such as reflections and shadows in still images and kinematics in videos to see if they are consistent. Finally, semantic integrity indicators would look for other inconsistencies in an image, which might indicate, for example, the data, time, or location of the image are not correct.

From Network World
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