Your Samsung Phone Is Likely Full Of Fake Photos That You Think Are Real, Here’s Why

Samsung phones automatically scale up low-resolution photos by adding fake modifiers due to their "Scene Optimizer" feature.

By Wendy Hernandez | Published

samsung galaxy

As smartphone cameras continue to improve, it’s easy to believe that the photos we take with them are authentic representations of reality. But new reports say that many Samsung smartphone users may be taking and sharing fake photos without knowing it.

A recent article in Cult of Mac says that Samsung Galaxy cameras can automatically “fake” photos to make them look better, especially when there isn’t much light. This feature, called “Scene Optimizer,” can modify colors, brightness, and contrast to make photos appear more vibrant and professional. But the problem is that these changes might not be a good representation of what was in the original photo.

Inverse’s additional investigation indicates that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera may use AI to “fake” detailed moon photos. Inverse conducted research and found that the “super-resolution” feature of the camera could use artificial intelligence to add details that weren’t in the original photo. Although this can lead to more visually stunning images, it also prompts inquiries into the authenticity and accuracy of photos captured using Samsung’s cameras.

So why does this matter? While some may argue that fake photos don’t harm anyone, there are significant ethical and practical implications to consider. First, the proliferation of fake photos can erode trust in visual media, making it harder to discern what is real and what is not. In a world where visual media is a critical part of news and communication, this can have far-reaching consequences.

Additionally, fake photos can perpetuate stereotypes and false narratives. If a fake photo is shared widely and taken as truth, it can reinforce harmful beliefs and assumptions about people and places. This is particularly relevant in a world where social media algorithms often prioritize viral content over factual accuracy.

Samsung isn’t the only company that makes smartphones with auto-enhanced photos, but the company’s use of fake elements is especially worrying.It’s also important to note that the Scene Optimizer feature is always on, which means that many Samsung users may be unknowingly taking and sharing fake photos.

So, what can be done about this? First, it’s important to be aware of the potential for fake photos when using a Samsung Galaxy camera. Users can turn off the Scene Optimizer feature in the camera settings to ensure that their photos are as close to reality as possible.

As we rely more on visual media to communicate and interpret the world around us, it’s important to be aware of how technology might alter our perception. We must be mindful of the possibility of images being changed and warped, as well as how this might affect our view of reality.

As photographer Andrew McCarthy notes, “The truth is more important than any photo.” While we may be drawn to visually stunning images, it’s crucial to remember that authenticity and accuracy should always come first. By being aware of the potential for fake photos on our Samsung phones and taking steps to combat them, we can help ensure that the photos we take and share are as truthful and reliable as possible.