A Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra owner says that the company’s photo “Remaster” feature is taking some extreme liberties with their photos, namely adding teeth into the mouth of their seven-month-old daughter.
Samsung offers the feature as part of its first-party Gallery app, the default photo application on Samsung S23 Ultra devices. The company positions the “Remaster” feature as a way to enhance photos and improve their overall appearance.
“Remastering removes shadows and reflections automatically to make your pictures look great. You can also remaster GIFs for better resolution and clarity,” the company says on its website.
While Samsung has been known to use artificial intelligence (AI) to perform these kinds of tasks — it recently was the center of conversation regarding its Moon Mode — the use of AI is not specifically mentioned for Remaster. Additionally, a screen recording provided to PetaPixel shows the feature doing a lot more than just tidying up the lighting of an image.
Originally reported by The Verge and confirmed by PetaPixel, a tech enthusiast tried out the Remaster feature on a photo of their infant daughter only to find that it was adding features to her face that definitely didn’t exist. Namely, it was giving her teeth.
— Apricot Lennon 🐱🥙 (@earcity) March 22, 2023
PetaPixel was provided an additional screen recording that shows Remaster doing similar AI-based processing on a different photo of the child, adding even more teeth in a frightening manner.
The seven-month-old does have some teeth, but they aren’t located where Remaster thinks they are and in some images they aren’t visible at all, leading to the question of why the feature is taking such liberties with processing. A third video sent to The Verge, which can be seen in the publication’s coverage, shows yet another instance of the AI adding teeth where they don’t belong.
Of note, The Verge was not able to reproduce the effect using the same photo (PetaPixel was unable to test this as it no longer has a Galaxy S23 Ultra in-house, as Samsung recalled it), but it is possible that the AI on the tech enthusiast’s phone was aware of other images of the child and was using that information to Remaster other images. This is, of course, entirely speculation.
Since Remaster is only advertised as a feature to fix lighting and reflections, it’s very odd to see it make such serious edits to an image. Luckily, this isn’t happening at the point of capture and only if a user explicitly asks to initiate a Remaster, but it’s still extremely weird and unsettling.
Pointing out this strangeness wasn’t to try and catch Samsung in another “gotcha” moment, but rather to have a discussion about machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, the tech enthusiast tells PetaPixel. Like many fans of new devices, they want to see these kinds of tools get better and in order for that to happen, this kind of unanticipated result needs to be called out.
Samsung did not immediately respond to PetaPixel’s request for comment.