Adobe Photoshop is taking “photo credz” more seriously than ever before with its new content authenticity initiative tool.
Made to track creator credits and editing activities, the new tool is intended to give appropriate credits and show how images came to be. It’s an optional tool in the prototype phase that Adobe hopes will help identify authentic versus altered images, and later on, deepfake videos.
The user simply has to toggle on the option for the attribution tool. Photoshop will automatically tag the edited photo with the original photographer’s credit (if provided in the original photo), the creator who produced the composite, and info on whatever editing activities were used.
Users can also go into the tool’s panel and customize which of the credits and tracking details they want to have included. To view the information, consumers would have to look at it uploaded on Behance, or visit Adobe’s new website, verify.contentauthenticity.org/, to see a full report. The site has not yet launched, since the prototype will only be available to select customers in a beta release in the coming weeks.
Of course, proper attribution largely depends on users inputting the credit in at some point — like the original photographer when uploading to a stock photo site. And while the automatic editing tracker provides clarity about image alteration, it requires the creator to opt in to sharing this info, which an ill-intentioned deepfake would never do.
Adobe’s began in November 2019, in conjunction with Twitter and the New York Times, to combat the influx of altered images floating around online. While the prototype currently only resides in Photoshop, according to , the company is hoping to set a new standard for digital media attribution. This could mean that a similar attribution trail could be implemented on social media sites to identify deepfakes and other altered content.
The tool is currently only available for images, so it doesn’t contest the more dangerous video deepfakes that can spread misinformation. However, that Adobe does plan on expanding the technology to other media types, including video.
The question remains whether other companies will adopt such a standard in the near future, and whether it will actually be useful at weeding out altered content. As it stands, an optional tracking tool could be pretty easy to counteract, considering all it takes is to toggle the tool off.