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Daily Authority: 🌕 Samsung's response to moon shenanigans

We've also got a light aircraft landing on a skyscraper's helipad.

Published onMarch 16, 2023

samsung galaxy s22 ultra cameras up close
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

😴 Hey there! I woke up with a stiff neck for the first time in like six months. You know you’re getting older when you hurt yourself while sleeping. Anyway, there’s a lot to cover today in the Daily Authority.

Samsung’s moon photography malarkey

Redditor ibreakphotos samsung moon photography

Samsung‘s moon photos were in the spotlight earlier this week, after a Redditor’s experiment revealed some fishy results. Now, Samsung has responded to the matter (kind of).

The experiment and its results

  • Redditor ibreakphotos posted an experiment in which they displayed a blurry 170 x 170 image of the moon on their computer. 
  • From here, they stood on the other side of their room and zoomed in to the blurry picture on their Galaxy phone.
  • The phone recognized the blurry moon on the PC as the actual moon, and made some interesting adjustments (as seen in the image above).
  • More specifically, Samsung’s phone seemed to actually add details such as a cratered lunar surface to the blurry photo. 
  • The user even pasted a small grey square into the blurry moon snap, but the Samsung phone still added lunar details to the grey square.

What does that mean?

  • This experiment called into question the accuracy of Samsung’s moon shots in the first place.
  • The company previously said that it uses multi-frame processing in conjunction with an AI model trained on moon photos to help take these snaps.
  • But this saga suggests that the phones are adding details that aren’t visible in the first place.
  • After all, how do you get more details on a blurry low-resolution image of the moon?
  • You can disable the AI-driven Scene Optimizer mode to get an accurate photo, but the experiment still raises questions.

Samsung’s response

  • The Galaxy maker has since issued a translated version of a 2022 Korean blog post to explain how its moon photography functionality works.
  • A lot of the info here isn’t new obviously, such as its use of super-resolution tech, multi-frame processing, and moon recognition via the Scene Optimizer.
  • Samsung also reiterates that it uses an “AI detail enhancement engine to effectively eliminate remaining noise and enhance the image details even further.”
  • There’s a big difference between enhancing details and adding new details to a deliberately blurred photo, though.
  • But this translated post still acknowledges spoofed results.
  • “Samsung continues to improve Scene Optimizer to reduce any potential confusion that may occur between the act of taking a picture of the real moon and an image of the moon,” the company concludes.
  • The firm also issued a response to Tom’s Guide, asserting that it wasn’t using image overlays.
  • But is this simply a case of semantics? It might not be overlaying images, but it was adding a mask or filter to the mix?
  • Either way, we’re currently running a poll asking readers whether they care that their moon shots are generated by AI.
  • There’s an interesting split here, suggesting that at least some of you just want a nice moon photo. 
  • You can also check out our list of the best camera phones if you want great snaps in general.

🕹️ Why game archivists are dreading this month’s 3DS/Wii U eShop shutdown: Industry lobbying is making archiving and researching 3DS and Wii U titles a tough endeavor (Ars Technica).

🎮 The PlayStation Plus Extra additions for March are pretty solid: Immortals Fenyx Rising, Ghostwire Tokyo, and more (Polygon).

Thursday Thing

How crazy is this? Polish Red Bull Air Race pilot Luke Czepiela has managed the crazy feat of landing atop a helipad on a 56-storey building in Dubai.

The pilot accomplished over 650 practice landings on a traditional landing strip, trying to land and come to a stop within a 27 meter diameter block that represented the helipad. It makes for some hair-raising stuff.

Have a great day!
Hadlee Simons, Editor

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