Tag: fake

AI spots art fakes by examining a single brushstroke

Attempts at art forgeries run from the laughable (remember Monkey Jesus?) to the exquisite (this ambiguous Baroque masterpiece nearly cost a gallery €120 million last year), and traditionally the art world has had to rely on expert knowledge and supporting documentation to weed out the real from the fake. But now researchers claim AI is able to identify forgeries simply by looking at the brushstrokes used to compose a piece.

Researchers from Rutgers University and the Atelier for Restoration & Research of Paintings in the Netherlands have demonstrated that their system broke down nearly 300 line drawings by Picasso, Matisse and other famous artists into 80,000 individual strokes, learning how to match the features of each stroke to the corresponding artist. Some artists push harder on their brushstrokes than others, for example. The researchers then commissioned a team of artists to recreate the pieces in the data set, with the AI correctly identifying forgeries every time on the basis of a single stroke.

The system is currently only useful where brushstrokes are clear, so it's not helpful on pieces where the paint has been blended. However, the team is now planning on testing the method on Impressionist art to further validate their results, heralding a potentially revolutionary technology for an industry which is traditionally slow to embrace change.

Source: Technology Review


Fake iPhone X has a fake notch, obviously

We're only one week away from iPhone X pre-orders, but the counterfeit market is already offering a variety of similar-looking devices to a particular crowd. As I anticipated, I came across one such clone while wandering around Hong Kong's Global Sources electronics fair earlier today, courtesy of a Shenzhen company by the marvelous name of Hotwonder. Its Hotwav Symbol S3 (also not the best name) is essentially an entry-level 4G Android phone shamelessly packaged into an iPhone X-like body, except for one notable difference: the screen "bezel" is white instead of black.

You see, unlike the real deal, the Symbol S3 only uses a rectangular display (a 6-inch 1,440 x 720 IPS panel), so if you strip away the white paint around it, you'll end up with an ordinary-looking smartphone with a regular forehead and chin. In other words, the white contour and notch are for mimicking the specially-cut shape of the iPhone X's OLED display, but such illusion only works when the background is black. Not to mention that the Android interface here is a dead giveaway, anyway.

Of course, you can't expect this random Chinese factory to clone Apple's TrueDepth sensor, but it did fill the notch with a pair of cameras plus an LED flash, making it a total of four bokeh-enabled cameras on this device: 5 megapixels plus 2 megapixels on the front, and 13 megapixels plus 2 megapixels on the back. Hotwonder also took the liberty to add a fingerprint magnet mirror finish to the back side, which could be considered as a bonus feature for those who carry a pocket mirror around.

The Symbol S3's spec sheet lists Android 8.0 as its operating system, and it can be equipped with either MediaTek's new MT6739 chipset (1.3GHz, 4x Cortex-A53, dual-LTE or LTE + WCDMA) or its much older MT6592 (1.7GHz, 8x Cortex-A7, 3G only). The device also packs a 2,900 mAh fixed battery (no wireless charging here), 16GB of internal storage and a mere 2GB of RAM. Yikes.

It's unclear how much this cheeky device will retail for, but I wouldn't be surprised if you can buy seven or eight of these for the price of one genuine iPhone X. But seriously, don't.


Facebook locks down key data as researchers analyze Russian influence

The truth behind Facebook's involvement in Russian voter hacks continues to get more complicated. The social media company apparently knew about Russian meddling even before last year's US election. Mark Zuckerberg's company reported that 10 million people saw Russian political ads, and has handed over Russia-linked ads to Congress. According to a report in The Washington Post, however, Facebook recently scrubbed the internet of thousands of posts related to social media analyst Jonathan Albright's research that apparently concluded that at least twice as many people had seen the ads than Facebook reported.

Needless to say, the researcher is upset. "This is public interest data," Albright told the Post. "This data allowed us to at least reconstruct some of the pieces of the puzzle. Not everything, but it allowed us to make sense of some of this thing."

Facebook confirmed to The Washington Post that while the posts had been removed, it was due to a bug in its analytics tool CrowdTangle. According to the company, Albright should never have been able to see this information. When the "bug" was quashed, Facebook told the Post, advertisers (and analysits like Albright) could no longer see information from "cached" posts that had already been taken down on Facebook (and Instagram). "We identified and fixed a bug in CrowdTangle that allowed users to see cached information from inactive Facebook Pages," Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told the Post. "Across all our platforms we have privacy commitments to make inactive content that is no longer available, inaccessible."

It's hard not to see this as a convenient excuse to hide tens of millions of potentially damning data, of course, especially as COO Sheryl Sandberg has committed the company to transparency around the fake Russian ads. Social media analysis has become a large part of figuring out what happens in our society, and not allowing access to even "taken down" posts can seem alarming. We've reached out to Facebook for comment on this matter and will update the post when we hear back.

Source: The Washington Post