‘Fauxtography’ is now a fact of life

Over the course of the past year, especially as I was reviewing Huawei’s P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro cameras, a portmanteau kept surfacing to the top of my mind: “fauxtography.” It’s a term that’s been used to describe images that are manipulated to factually misrepresent a situation as well as sloppy but innocuous Photoshop chop jobs. To this point, it’s been largely about post-production fakery, whereas the novelty in recent times has been about how good phones have become at doing such things on the fly. The camera system that Huawei calls Master AI is trained to go beyond merely taking the most faithful photo: it works overtime to make grass extra verdant, skies extra blue, and food extra yummy. And then, of course, there’s Google’s…

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