In first use case, Project Providence authenticates images from capture to display to help group document and protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage
San Diego, CA, March 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Truepic, provider of authenticity infrastructure for the Internet, and Microsoft are piloting “Project Providence,” the world’s first interoperable system using Truepic’s authenticating camera SDK and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to maintain the provenance or origin of images captured, from storage to display. This enables users to verify images as authentic and transparently display their time, date, location, and source to viewers. With this technology, modifications to the images can be detected and the authentic source of images can be proven.
The platform is being utilized first by a group of documenters associated with the Ukrainian NGO Anti-Corruption Headquarters as part of the Enhance Non-Governmental Actors and Grassroots Engagement (ENGAGE) program, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development and implemented by international nonprofit Pact. Working across Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Mykolaiv, Sumy, and various Kyiv suburbs, the team is documenting damage to cultural heritage and national infrastructure for accountability, advocacy, and reconstruction efforts. The Project Providence platform leverages the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA) open standard to allow end-to-end interoperability between the capture of documentation, storage, and display.
“The Anti-Corruption Headquarters, supported by Pact under the ENGAGE project, uses Project Providence to film and describe damage to Ukrainian sites, shedding light on the destruction to Ukrainian cultural identity. Documenting this damage with transparency and authenticity will be critical to pursuing reparations and restoring the demolished objects in the future,” said Serhii Mytkalyk, Chairman of the Board of the NGO Anti-Corruption Headquarters.
“Brave Ukrainians are going to great lengths to protect their rich cultural heritage through digital documentation. Project Providence is helping ensure that these efforts will not be undermined with accusations of being false, manipulated, or deepfakes at any time moving forward. This trend, known as the Liar’s Dividend, is a great threat to all documentation, and we are honored to work with the Anti-Corruption Headquarters, Pact, and Microsoft to help preserve facts in Ukraine,” said Jeff McGregor, CEO of Truepic.
“Today, manipulated online content is becoming more sophisticated. This pilot is a key step in our efforts to create technologies that empower people to find, consume and share authoritative and trusted information,” said Teresa Hutson, corporate vice president of tech and corporate responsibility at Microsoft. “Having proof-of-concept that we can certify the provenance of an image – the origin, authenticity and history – is a powerful tool in that effort. Through the Microsoft Democracy Forward initiative, we are supporting healthy information ecosystems in Ukraine and around the world.”
Ukraine’s rich cultural heritage has been notably targeted over the past year. UNESCO reports damage to over 245 cultural heritage sites, and other organizations report damage and destruction to nearly 1,600 sites. For additional context, refer to the statement dated February 23, 2023 by The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Truepic provides authenticity infrastructure for the Internet. The company’s transparency tools deliver verifiable information about the origin and editing history of digital content. Truepic is dedicated to advancing products and services that establish transparency in digital content, empowering viewers and users to identify authenticity and differentiate human from computer-generated. Recognized as one of TIME’s Best Inventions and Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas, consumers, businesses, creators, and publishers trust Truepic’s technologies to make informed decisions. For more information, visit truepic.com.