Adobe releases new open-source tools to tackle visual misinformation

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AMERICAN multinational computer software company, Adobe Inc., has released three new open-source tools intended to make it easier to verify the authenticity of visual content and trace where it came from.

The initiative is part of the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI), a cross-industry group first announced by Adobe Inc. in 2019 to address digital misinformation and verify visual content.

“One of the main goals of the CAI is to tackle the spread of digital misinformation by making it easier to access the history of content to see when and how it was created. One area that this could help is in the rise of deepfakes imagery,” CAI senior director, Andy Parsons, said in a blogpost.

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Deepfakes use a form of artificial intelligence to combine and superimpose existing images and videos to make fake images of people or make it look like a person has said or done something they have not.

“With the new tools, a social media platform could plug in the Adobe-provided JavaScript and quickly have all of its images and videos displaying the content credentials, which appear as a mouse-over icon in the upper-right corner.

“That implementation could take a couple of developers a few weeks instead of requiring a dedicated team and a larger software buildout,” he noted.

The new open-source tools help to authenticate digital content and “integrate content provenance” across web, mobile or desktop projects.

Parsons said the new tools available include a JavaScript SDK, C2PA Tool, and a Rust SDK. “These tools are designed to let developers build functions displaying content credentials in browsers, or make custom desktop and mobile apps that can create, verify and display content credentials. 

“There is also a tool to let developers use their command line to explore content details.

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“Today’s announcement is the latest step forward in our work to address the pervasive issue of misinformation and disinformation across the digital ecosystem, empowering creators to develop and share their stories with proper attribution and protection,” Parsons stated.

“Being active in open-source communities enables CAI to empower developers around the world to create interoperable solutions, native to their applications, that will help advance the adoption of content provenance across a wide array of use cases. We can’t wait to see what the community builds with these raw materials,” he added.

The underlying standard of these tools stems from C2PA, which aims to address the prevalence of misleading information online through the development of technical standards. Some of the organisations involved in C2PA are Intel, Microsoft, Sony, and Arm.

Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.

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