I first learned about the Content Authenticity Initiative from Leica with the release of the M11-P, and at first I didn’t completely understand what it was about. Now, I feel sure this is one of the most important recent developments for photography, journalism, documentaries, and story telling. More and more, people are unsure if what they are seeing is “authentic” or “real,” especially when it doesn’t match their presuppositions. People are so quick now to claim “deep fake” or “AI” when something doesn’t make sense. And the only real way to help is: provenance.
The only time I’ve heard provenance in the past has been related to “can we determine this physical artwork is an original” or something like that. And now, we have the same problem with digital photos and videos: can we determine this is an original work, a documentation of something that really happened? So it makes perfect sense to me that the best answer we have is to develop a better system of digital content provenance – the state goal of the CAI: “Authentic storytelling through digital content provenance.”
I’m excited to see more companies and organizations join the CAI and to start seeing provenance information show up under images and videos more often 💪
(And I gotta start saving up now for an M11-P 😅)