Recently Samsung was accused of faking photos of the moon on the Galaxy S23 Ultra — allegedly adding non-existent details to a photo. Now there appears to be a different, and significantly more unsettling, enhancement doing the rounds. One that added teeth to a picture of a baby.
According to a reader writing to The Verge, the Remaster feature in the Galaxy S23's Gallery app is responsible for this bizarre ‘enhancement.' A clip of the remastering process was posted on Twitter, showing how the app replaces the seven-month-old’s tongue with a set of teeth that wouldn’t look out of place in a Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer.
This is how gross Remastering is on the @SamsungMobile @Samsung #S23Ultra #SamsungS23Ultra. AI casually adding teeth to a 7 month old baby. NO ONE ASKED FOR THIS! pic.twitter.com/X9WUHWS2HrMarch 22, 2023
Various other enhancements in this shot include smoothing out skin and altering the girl’s eyes in a way that makes them look more alien than human. Changes that were wholly unnecessary, and I feel like the picture looks worse as a result of the “enhancement.” This isn’t just a case of tweaking visual settings or adding filters, much as you’d find in Google Photos’ Enhance feature.
This didn’t appear to be a one-time glitch either. The reader also sent The Verge a video showing a completely different photo being remastered by Samsung’s software. And yes, it turned the kid’s tongue into a fresh set of teeth once more.
The question is whether this particular glitch is more widespread, or if Samsung’s AI simply has some sort of grudge against this particular baby. The Verge notes it wasn’t able to replicate the problem on a Galaxy S22, while my colleague Richard Priday was similarly unsuccessful on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Samsung’s website claims that the photo remaster tool “removes shadows and reflections automatically to make your pictures look great.” As The Verge notes, there’s no mention of any AI or machine learning being used in the process. Still it appears something of that ilk is happening when you turn on the Remaster tool.
Where the alleged moonshot fakery is concerned, Samsung claims that its AI has been trained on hundreds of images of the moon, and can recognize when it’s the main subject of a photo. Despite denial that image overlaying is involved, the company has still been accused of using AI to automatically add details to the moon that weren’t captured by the camera.
It feels like the creepy baby teeth are the result of something similar, with the AI assuming that’s where teeth should be and acting accordingly.
The main difference here is that the remaster feature isn’t done automatically, and you have to physically activate the Remastering process. If AI is indeed involved, it’s a perfect example of how much more work needs to be done to improve AI systems. Just like the time my home security camera decided my dog was a human being.
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Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.