Is Samsung Faking the AI-Enhanced ‘Space Zoom’ Photos on Galaxy Smartphones?
Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones now offer “Space Zoom,” writes Apple Insider, a feature augmenting 3x and 10x telephoto cameras with digital zoom “aided by Samsung’s AI Super Resolution technology.”

But the resulting 100X zoom levels “appear to be more a feat of AI trickery than anything else,” they conclude, citing an investigation by a Reddit user:

That so-called Space Zoom could potentially allow users to photograph the moon, and many do. However, it may be the case that the level of detail in the moon shots may only be higher due to software shenanigans….

The user tested the effect by downloading a high-resolution image of the moon, then downsized it to a 170 by 170-resolution image, and then applied a gaussian blur to obliterate any final details of its surface. They then showed the low-res blurry moon at full screen on their monitor, walked to the other end of their room, zoomed in on the fake celestial body, and took a photograph. After some processing, an image of the moon was produced by the smartphone, but the surface had considerably more detail for the surface than the doctored source. The user reckons Samsung “is leveraging an AI model to put craters and other details on places which were just a blurry mess.”

They go further to stress that while super resolution processing uses multiple images to recover otherwise-lost detail, this seems to be something different. It is proposed that this is a case “where you have a specific AI model trained on a set of moon images, in order to recognize the moon and slap on the moon texture on it.”

The Reddit user has now posted an update:

I photoshopped one moon next to another (to see if one moon would get the AI treatment, while another would not), and managed to coax the AI to do exactly that….
[O]ne moon got the “AI enhancement”, while the other one shows what was actually visible to the sensor — a blurry mess….

It’s literally adding in detail that weren’t there. It’s not deconvolution, it’s not sharpening, it’s not super resolution, it’s not “multiple frames or exposures”. It’s generating data.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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