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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Camera Giants Tackle Deepfakes with Digital Signatures

📸 ModelProp / Midjourney

The world of photography is set to get a whole lot more secure, thanks to a collaborative effort from Nikon, Sony, and Canon. These camera manufacturing giants have been secretly developing a new technology that uses "tamper-resistant" digital signatures to differentiate real photos from those generated by AI.

This innovative technology is a response to the growing threat of deepfakes, sophisticated fake images created by AI algorithms. The digital signatures attached to photos will include crucial information like date, time, location, and even the identity of the photographer. This adherence to a "global standard" adopted by the three manufacturers will provide a new level of security for companies and news organisations.

The technology is expected to be integrated into new or recent camera models by 2024, according to Nikkei Asia. In addition, the companies will launch a free web-based "Verify" service. This tool will display the embedded credentials for images with a digital signature. If an image has been tampered with or generated by AI, the tool will indicate "No Credentials."

Given that Japanese manufacturers control approximately 90% of the global camera market, this digital signature technology is set to become a widely adopted solution for image authentication. Sony plans to incorporate the technology into three professional-grade mirrorless SLR cameras through firmware updates in the spring.

The rise of generative AI services has led to an increase in sophisticated deepfake content. In response, various countermeasures are being developed. Google has introduced a tool that embeds "invisible" watermarks in AI-generated images, while Intel has developed a solution that assesses image authenticity by analysing changes in skin colour. Adobe is also collaborating with Leica to support Content Credentials, a signature-based security feature.

With these new developments, the future of photography is looking brighter and more secure. So, the next time you snap a picture, you can be confident that your work will be safeguarded against the threat of AI-generated fakes.

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