New Scientist tells the story of technology that is protecting journalists and activists by creating photographs without photographers.
The software has actually been around for four years. It was developed to prevent the Burmese junta from identifying protestors in video recordings and photographs. Not surprisingly, protestors are much less likely to document an important event if their “location privacy” is not protected.
The creators used graphics processors to “create” photos that would have been taken from a perspective where there wasn’t a photographer. Two or more photographs are combined into one that looks real—as long as they were taken around the same time.
The software creates a 3-D “depth map” of the scene—a step that reminds me of the Lytro camera—and the user selects an arbitrary perspective location. And, voila, no photographer exists!