Adobe’s new AI can detect Photoshopped faces and reveal the original

Using Photoshop and other image manipulation software to manipulate faces in images has become common practice, but it’s not always made clear when it’s been done. Now Adobe is outing its own software with a new AI that can detect Photoshopped faces in photographs.

The researchers at Adobe and UC Berkeley have published their work in a new paper titled, “Detecting Photoshopped Faces by Scripting Photoshop.” It explains how this new method can figure out if Photoshop’s Face Aware Liquify tool was used. The stunning new AI can identify the feature more reliably than the human eye and is able to tell which changes have been made to a photo. It even has the ability to revert the Photoshopped faces back to their original forms.

Original portrait manipulated and reverted

How Adobe un-manipulates faces

To test the AI, the team fed thousands of portraits obtained from the internet to a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN). The images chosen were then manipulated with the Face Aware Liquify tool — either by humans or automatically through a Photoshop script. Amazingly, the AI was able to detect which faces were edited with 99-percent accuracy, as opposed to just 53 percent by human participants who were shown before-and-after versions of the photos. Moreover, the AI was even able to reverse the edits to the Photoshopped faces to reveal pictures almost identical to pre-manipulated portraits.

“The idea of a magic universal ‘undo’ button to revert image edits is still far from reality,” Adobe scientist Richard Zhang said in the press release. “But we live in a world where it’s becoming harder to trust the digital information we consume, and I look forward to further exploring this area of research.”

While Adobe doesn’t plan to release the tool to the public, they hope that this method will make it easier for digital manipulations to be detected in the future; it’s crucial in an era when it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish real imagery from fakes and it’s a sign that the company is taking seriously the propagation of digitally-altered, misleading media. So watch out misleading social media influencers who label their pictures as “#NoFilter.”