TWEETSTORM is an occasional feature where we share threads, mostly from Twitter, that we think deserve a wider audience, some are informative, some educational, some amusing and others yet are controversial...we dig these out for you so you don't have to!


Adrian Hon

Interesting thread concluding that Samsung is using an AI model to replace users’ blurry, super-zoomed photos of the Moon with slightly higher res textures.

How did they discover this?

1. They downloaded a high res image of the Moon
2. Downscaled it to a blurry 170x170px image on their computer monitor
3. Took a photo of it on the Samsung with the room lights out

…and they got a magically higher-res Moon! Clever.

Samsung "space zoom" moon shots are fake, and here is the proof

Many of us have witnessed the breathtaking moon photos…reddit


Adrian Hon @adrianhon

AI image enhancement and upscaling isn’t new or exclusive to Samsung, of course. Take a blurry image of some grass and an algorithm can fill in the gaps based on what it thinks “grass” looks like.

People usually don’t notice or care; with the Moon it’s weird (and weirdly effective) because it looks the same for everyone, and everyone knows what it looks like.


Adrian Hon @adrianhon

Is it bad? I’d need to think more about it!

Smartphone photography is already incredibly processed, lightyears from film photography of old. People should probably be more aware that the image their phone shows them is increasingly distant from “reality” – though most of the time, people don’t want reality!


Adrian Hon @adrianhon

I was trying to think of a good sci-fi short story idea around this.

Turns out I already wrote it in my book, A New History of the Future in 100 Objects, three years ago! I've just put it on my blog for free.


серафими многоꙮчитїи

@adrianhon as if faking the moon landing and indeed the moon itself were not enough

Pete Alex Harris
On the one hand, why not. It's not really a lie any more than a blurry photo would have been, and people will be happier with the results.

On the other hand, if anything unusual happens to the moon like a new big crater from an impact, people with Samsung phones or similar image enhancement tech won't be able to get a picture of it.


Adrian Hon @adrianhon

yep, exactly. Would make for a good short story!

Mark Saltveit

Why not? Because it's false, a lie. If you start there, without notifying users, what's to stop a company or government from replacing photos with substantively different ones?

Photos of the J6 insurrection could be "enhanced" to ones showing peaceful "tourists" hugging police officers.


Andrew F Lyons

yes. And it adds to the level of distrust people already have over the control of their devices and accuracy and authenticity of digital media. Why not just auto-enhance other elements in photography, or have AI that detects and redacts parts of photos based on what it thinks should or shouldn't appear?

Mark Saltveit

yep. I'd be fine with a prompt that says "Your photo seems a bit blurry. Would you like yo replace it with a sharper picture of that part of the moon?"

That would creep almost everyone out, of course. Which is exactly why they shouldn't do it.

Pete Alex Harris

Which I'm sure would be convincing until you count their fingers.

But there's nothing to stop a government doing that whether Samsung make moon photos prettier or not. Not everything is a slippery slope.

°China furiously taking notes°

Pete Alex Harris
As long as China takes notes about the recent international reaction to a large country invading a smaller neighbour, I don't care what lessons they take from South Korean consumer electronics.

They may learn a lesson from current international events, but it may not be the lesson that the rest of the world wants them to learn.

Pete Alex Harris
We'll see.

Слава Україні

Mark Saltveit

it remains a lie when Samsung does it though. Without asking and receiving explicit permission, they're just deleting your photo and sneaking in another one. Which is bizarre and controlling.

♪ Octavia con Amore ♬

Consent, consent, consent, consent, seriously, consent, ...

Sean Murthy

IIRC the judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial excluded some pictures for the reason the phone/camera may not have produced a true replica of the scene, due to "image processing".

Mark Saltveit

interesting! Any details on what the processing did?

Sam L.

this is one big concern I have. I was concerned that AI editing like this can (and apparently has) make it so an image taken in good faith may be inadmissible as evidence. This feels like something users need to know about. Of course, you can often save RAW files these days but I am not a lawyer, and I have no idea about the admissibility of those either.

Because the AI isnt just putting known pictures of the moon over it, changes to its surface will still show up

The post doesn't have me convinced really. It's no surprise they use AI to enhance their 100x zoom pictures, but in all examples it's very clear it's just working with the data it is served. I don't find the examples to be shocking at all, they match the blurrry version quite well, and the clipped version at the end of their post seems to look clipped on their Samsung example too?

Anyway run a blurry picture through most upscaling algorithms (meant to add detail) and it should get it right as long as some detail was still there. Blury images is that these algorithms are trained on for years.


@Purple @petealexharris @adrianhon There is also this post which shows that even if a smiley-shaped crater would suddenly appear on the moon's surface the Samsungs would perfectly capture it. - Samsung Moon Shots are Fake reddit

@fernsehchat @petealexharris @adrianhon uhm, I fail to understand how this is bad? If anything this proofs that Samsung just uses upscaling / sharpening AI and not overlays known images of the moon

Using AI for sharpening is nothing new


Misunderstanding, I agree with you. It's not bad.

Ah sorry, my fault :)


they could just add options for stuff like this instead of just doing it without asking

a little "hey we fixed this for you" notification would make such a huge difference. but software these days is designed to make users relinquish control over everything that happens


Yeah an option for some of this high powered stuff would be nice. Especially if any of it uses a model trained on input where the artists didn't consent...


A “camera” app that doesn’t use your camera, it just creates an image based on your location, time & angle analyzing every online geolocated photo. I bet it could do well at oft-traveled landmarks.


Adrian Hon @adrianhon

@_ Gonna happen!

Julia Rez

@adrianhon @_

A friend and I started work on a phone app named 'InStowGram' - whatever picture you tried to take would be replaced by a scenic view of Stow on the Wold in Gloucestershire.

However we all quickly discovered I couldn't code android apps worth a light.

Adrian Hon (
Interesting thread concluding that Samsung is using an AI model to replace users’ blurry, super-zoomed photos of the Moon with slightly higher res textures. How did they discover this? 1. They downloaded a high res image of the Moon2. Downscaled it to a blurry 170x170px image on their computer m…

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