Court Bans Use of 'AI-Enhanced' Video Evidence Because That's Not How AI Works

A judge in Washington state has blocked video evidence that’s been “AI-enhanced” from being submitted in a triple murder trial. And that’s a good thing, given the fact that too many people seem to think applying an AI filter can give them access to secret visual data.

Judge Leroy McCullough in King County, Washington wrote in a new ruling that AI tech used, “opaque methods to represent what the AI model ‘thinks’ should be shown,” according to a new report from NBC News Tuesday. And that’s a refreshing bit of clarity about what’s happening with these AI tools in a world of AI hype.

“This Court finds that admission of this Al-enhanced evidence would lead to a confusion of the issues and a muddling of eyewitness testimony, and could lead to a time-consuming trial within a trial about the non-peer-reviewable-process used by the AI model,” McCullough wrote.

The case involves Joshua Puloka, a 46-year-old accused of killing three people and wounding two others at a bar just outside Seattle in 2021. Lawyers for Puloka wanted to introduce cellphone video captured by a bystander that’s been AI-enhanced, though it’s not clear what they believe could be gleaned from the altered footage.

Puloka’s lawyers reportedly used an “expert” in creative video production who’d never worked on a criminal case before to “enhance” the video. The AI tool this unnamed expert used was developed by Texas-based Topaz Labs, which is available to anyone with an internet connection.

The introduction of AI-powered imaging tools in recent years has led to widespread misunderstandings about what’s possible with this technology. Many people believe that running a photo or video through AI upscalers can give you a better idea of the visual information that’

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