Adobe wants developers to help combat visual misinformation online with a range of open source content verification tools.
Famous for its photo editor and image manipulation software, Adobe has been trying since 2019 to mitigate some of the damage caused by heavily altered, misused, or stolen digital media through its Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) .
Backed by Microsoft, Intel and the BBC, the CAI hopes to provide "sourced digital content for all". Translation: The creation and integration of a new metadata standard detailing the source and history of an online content item.
Fight against visual misinformation
CAI's goal to end the scourge of misleading images has resulted in the release of three new open source tools:
+ Rust SDK for apps that create, verify, and display credentials
+ C2PA tool to create and verify credentials from the command line
The latter builds on CAI's role with the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), an open technical standard for "the ability to trace the origin of different types of media" that unifies the work of Adobe and its partners with Microsoft- and Project Origin led by the BBC.
Currently, EXIF data is used to identify the source of content and information (and, unlike future "content credentials", is limited to visual media). New content verification tools extend this data set by including additional information, such as whether a photo or video has been altered. This may not herald the end of so-called fake news, but content credentials present a clear weapon in the fight against visual misinformation.
Over time, the company envisions a future where websites can automate content verification of all photos and videos, and users know and understand what the data is. Until the standard is universally adopted, developers, website owners, and users can verify an image's registration using CAI's simple online verification tool.
But with the San Jose-based software company already laying the groundwork for NFTs in Photoshop, C2PA's implementation has a much broader reach than social media and photo storage and sharing sites.