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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.

Please select this link to read the complete article from WIRED.

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