Leica Hopes Its New $9,500 Camera Can Save Photojournalism From AI

Key Takeaways:

– Leica has released a new camera called the M11-P, aimed at professional photojournalists, with a price tag of $9,500.
– The camera includes a watermarking system that adds a seal of authenticity to each image’s metadata.
– Watermarking is seen as a solution to combat the problem of fake media content, such as deepfakes or digitally altered images.
– Leica’s watermarking system, called Content Credentials, complies with the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI), a group focused on establishing an industry standard for content authenticity.
– The CAI uses cryptographic asset hashing to insert identifiable signatures into image metadata and records any alterations made to the image.
– The Credentials can be verified online through an associated CAI portal.

Gizmodo:

Image: charnsitr (Shutterstock)

Leica, one of the oldest, most venerable camera companies in the world, has debuted a new $9,500 camera that, among other things, is designed to fight the scourge of digital manipulation. The M11-P is specifically marketed to professional photojournalists, and, in addition to producing beautiful images, includes a new watermarking system that Leica says will digitally stamp each image’s metadata with what amounts to a seal of authenticity.

One of the biggest problems caused by the generative AI boom is another glut of online disinformation. It has now become so easy to generate fake media content—be it deepfakes, or digitally altered or wholly artificial images—that the world is basically drowning in said material. One of the most prominent solutions that has been discussed as a fix for this problem is watermarking. Watermarking works by automatically inserting identifiable assets into the metadata of an image, which then allows it to be verified as authentic later on.

“Determining the authenticity of visual content has become increasingly difficult and important in the age of digital photography,” a statement on Leica’s product announcement reads. “Now with the ability to provide this proof, we are once again strengthening trust in digital content and re-establishing Leica cameras as authoritative tools in the documentation of world events.”

Leica says the M11-P produces images stamped with what it calls Content Credentials—a kind of “encrypted metadata in compliance with the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI).” CAI is a recently formed industry group made up of media companies, tech platforms, and NGOs, that says it’s devoted to an open industry standard for “content authenticity and provenance.” The CAI model uses cryptographic asset hashing to insert identifiable signatures into image metadata (i.e., a watermark), allowing for them to be verified as authentic. If CAI-processed images are digitally altered (by Photoshop or some other editing suite), the history of alterations is also recorded by the system. The Credentials can later be verified online by plugging them into an online portal associated with the CAI.

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AI Eclipse TLDR:

Leica, a renowned camera company, has released a new camera called the M11-P, which is priced at $9,500 and aims to combat digital manipulation. The camera is specifically targeted at professional photojournalists and features a watermarking system that digitally stamps each image’s metadata to provide a seal of authenticity. With the rise of generative AI and the ease of creating fake media content, such as deepfakes or digitally altered images, the need for solutions to verify authenticity has become crucial. Watermarking works by inserting identifiable assets into the image’s metadata, allowing it to be verified later on. Leica’s M11-P produces images marked with Content Credentials, which are encrypted metadata in compliance with the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI). CAI, an industry group, aims to establish an open industry standard for content authenticity and provenance. The CAI model uses cryptographic asset hashing to insert identifiable signatures into image metadata, enabling verification of authenticity. If CAI-processed images are digitally altered, the system records the history of alterations. The Credentials can be verified online through an associated CAI portal.