With each iteration of Photoshop, it is easier and easier to alter images, making it impossible to spot the alterations. Soon, with AI generated images taking over in many fields, it will be impossible to trust if an image is an actual photograph or a complete fabrication. Photography is in danger of losing its essential tie to reality and truth. Enters TruePic. With an array of patented technologies, the company offers a solid counterbalance to this seemingly unstoppable wave of reality-altering technologies. It certifies that a photograph is 100% original and has not been tampered with. We spoke with CEO Jeff McGregor to learn more:
– A little bit about you. What is your background?
I’m Jeffrey McGregor, the CEO of Truepic. I’ve been actively involved with early-stage technology for the past ten years. My last start-up, Dash, was a mobile payments company that processed millions in transactions prior to our sale to Reserve in early 2016. I’ve since partnered with Truepic’s founder, Craig Stack, to help build & scale this company.
– What is Truepic, what does it do and how?
Truepic is a digital notary for images and videos. Very simply, a Truepic is an image that is certified by our technology to be 100% original, including verification of accuracy for all metadata, such as time, date, and location. Our multi-patented process begins with capturing a known original photo and immediately hashing that image prior to transmission. Once we’ve received the data, we stamp it with known-to-be accurate metadata. We then pass each image through a series of computer vision tests to identify fraudulent activity. Finally, we write the original hash & verified metadata to blockchain to create an immutable copy.
– What is your inspiration and motivation for building Truepic? What was your trigger?
The internet is experiencing a dynamic change in which trust is quickly evaporating. Eighty percent of images are now captured on mobile phones, and over two thousand apps exist to help edit photos & videos. Most of the services we interact with every day are displaying these same manipulated photos, which alter our perception of reality. Our team believes that the majority of trust issues online can be solved through verified authentic & unaltered images.
– Is TruePic an app, an SDK, a service? What is your main focus?
Truepic is a certification technology which currently can be leveraged through our App, or our Camera SDK. Typically, enterprise customers are utilizing our Camera SDK to verify user-generated content, and every-day consumers are using our Truepic App, to prove the authenticity of their photos.
– Who are your typical users?
We have corporate partners across a wide array of industries, including Insurance (photo claims), Property Management (property documentation), Employee Tracking (selfie clock-in), Merchandising, Before & After photos, Online Dating (profile verification), and much more. We also work with a number of humanitarian organizations, helping document the work they are performing around the globe.
– Can TruePic work outside of mobile?
Not today – we only work with mobile technology given the vast majority of our customers are predominantly relying on the authenticity of mobile generated images & videos to run their businesses.
– Do you plan on partnering with camera manufacturers in order to create Truepic cameras for photojournalists and other pros?
We plan to make our certification platform available for integration by these manufacturers as interest in the technology increases.
– How does TruePic use Blockchain and why?
Truepic uses blockchain to decentralize verified authentic data hashes. While we do store verified authentic data on our own system, by creating a decentralized copy, customers can be absolutely sure that a truly immutable copy of the data exists in perpetuity.
– Does TruePic use any artificial intelligence and how is it integrated it into its offering?
We do have various systems built that leverage AI to detect fraudulent behavior. Due to the vast number of images and videos processed through our system, each of our tests has to be conducted solely through algorithmic decision making. Given the sensitivity of these systems, how they work, and how they help us detect fraud, we’re unable to disclose exactly how these processes work.
– What would you love TruePic to offer that technology can not yet deliver?
Blockchain is the technological breakthrough that makes Truepic possible today. Decentralizing trust is an incredible advantage in a world where it’s become virtually impossible to rely on a single organization to thoughtfully handle & secure data.
Author: Paul Melcher
Paul Melcher is the founder of Kaptur and Managing Director of Melcher System, a consultancy for visual technology firms. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, and consultant with a rich background in visual tech, content licensing, business strategy, and technology with more than 20 years experience in developing world-renowned photo-based companies with already two successful exits.