Samsung discredited: superzoom moon photos are ‘fake’

Samsung provides the most expensive smartphones in its Galaxy line with a Space Zoom function. THE Galaxy S23 Ultra for example, it can zoom 100 times and has a special function to capture the moon. Impressive, but how realistic is the result?

Not so realistic, notes a Reddit user in a very popular post. The user takes a photo of the moon, which is blurred before and during the shot. Immediately after taking the photo, a razor-sharp moon can be seen – with all sorts of detail that was not visible at all before.

Real moon, artificially added

The difference between the actual zoomed images of the moon and the result is so great that it is clearly not a question of refining the existing images. No, the moon in the photo appears to have been completely replaced by another moon, taken with a different camera.

Samsung was also implicated in 2020 over the “misleading” Space Zoom feature, according to some users. Then Samsung said there was more to it than just replacing the moon with an existing photo.

According to Samsung, the moon photos are handled by artificial intelligence (AI). The software sees that a moon is photographed and bids according to Samsung a “detail enhancement feature by removing blur and noise”. Still, user experiences on Reddit suggest there’s more to it than just sharpening the shot: Samsung’s system adds details that the camera didn’t see at all.

AI increasingly leading

Samsung’s feature perhaps primarily shows that AI is rapidly becoming ubiquitous. Almost all new smartphones use AI to enhance photos. They are then made sharper, better exposed or with higher contrast. But what exactly is adjusted is often unclear.

Phone manufacturers therefore sometimes exceed the limits. For example, Apple has previously been accused of removing creases from users who used the selfie camera. And just recently, there have been comments about a very realistic filter on TikTok that makes users look very different from reality – also done with artificial intelligence.

The user on Reddit declares that there is deception. Samsung has yet to respond to the message. For now, there are no guidelines for applying artificial intelligence and informing users of the scope of this AI.

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