None of Your Photos Are Real
Photo editing tools are ushering in a new counterfeit reality
Google's pitch for the AI features in the new Pixel 8 phone reads like a promise: “do more, effortlessly.” And who can blame them? I certainly don’t. Not in this shitstorm of a year.
Have you seen the news? Gone outside? Wondered why groceries cost an entire paycheck? I keep telling myself that the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic are to blame, the way it crunched time and reordered our internal wiring and social cues, how it fed a kind of political narcissism and further eroded American politics, but it’s hard to pinpoint the genesis of what feels like collective unease and exhaustion. All I know is everything does seem like more work than it used to, and a pledge to accomplish more with less effort is impossible to ignore.
There's a trade-off, of course. That's how the covenant goes—in exchange for seamless living, our technologies require a token in return. Our faces. Our data. Our selves. The AI-enabled photo editing on Google’s latest smartphone, though, exacts a different price. It offers an easy approach to all that you do, capture, and create, but its tariff is authenticity.
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