Our Top 21 in 2021

Here we are again, another busy year is quickly coming to an end and we are very excited to share some of the best achievements we’ve reached together in 2021. Many things have happened in the last 12 months, from software updates to new licensing options and the launch of new blog post series. Check out this year’s top 21 news:

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Amped FIVE Update 22997: Blank Video, Audio Loader, Audio Muxer, Audio Sync, and Much More

“All I want for Christmas is…” another huge update to Amped FIVE!

It only seems like yesterday that we published the last update to Amped FIVE, announcing the release of many time-based tools and filters. Here we are again, bringing several very popular requests into the software, with another very important update.
To start with we have Blank Video, allowing the creation of video frames to be used for titling, or to fill gaps caused by missing frames in a timeline.
This update though has a large emphasis on audio. Digital Multimedia Evidence (DME) now often consists of both video and audio and it is becoming much more common to have CCTV, and private video surveillance, to include an audio stream. In-car systems may have multiple audio streams to playback sound better from different parts of the vehicle.
We have been monitoring this increase in connected audio and have therefore developed several new filters specifically to assist in its management.
Let us take a closer look at these and many more!

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Who’s Using Amped Software?

Very often when potential customers are researching products, a pretty common question they ask us is “who’s using your software?”. We take privacy and security very seriously, and we don’t publish customers’ names or logos without their permission. This permission, for public safety and national security organizations, is actually quite hard to get by official means or takes way too long. So we are rarely nominating users and cases explicitly.

In this post, we are sharing some aggregated data you may find interesting. It is being published in December 2021, so if you are reading this later, the numbers will likely be higher.

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Amped Funds a 3-Years Research Grant at the University of Florence

Since Amped lives on technology, it’s evident that research is essential to our company. “Research is important” is too often just a mantra or something companies and institutions like to repeat. But if you genuinely believe in that, the only way to go is to put resources on it!

We’re thus thrilled to announce that Amped Software partnered with the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Florence (Italy), and funded a 3-years Research Grant! A candidate has been selected and has already started working under the supervision of professor Alessandro Piva, a world-renowned expert in the field of multimedia forensics.

The research project covers video forgery detection and integrity verification, forensic analysis of videos encoded with state-of-the-art algorithms, and more.

It is a significant commitment, and we’re very proud of fostering academic research in times where the sanitary crisis has raised budget concerns virtually everywhere in the world.

Stay tuned; we’re sure exciting results won’t be long in coming! You can also follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook so you’ll be promptly notified of our next achievements!

Amped Authenticate Update 22874: Introducing VPF Analysis for Video Double Encoding Detection and Improvements to the Shadows Filter

Have you ever heard “Dulcis in fundo“? It’s a Latin saying that means: “leave the sweetest for the end”. And this is what we’ve done with Authenticate this year! Just before this challenging 2021 reaches its end, we’re sharing a new Amped Authenticate update with an important new tool. Keep reading!

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See the Amped Software Training Calendar for 2022!

Official training courses for 2022 are now available! Amped Software offers training courses for beginner, intermediate, and expert level users who are willing to improve their investigations and gain more in-depth knowledge on video evidence.

A wide range of new topics and flexible options are available for you this year, so choose the course that best suits your needs and book your seat today to guarantee your attendance!

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More Real Than Real: a Chat About Deepfakes with Dr. Cecilia Pasquini (University of Trento)

Deepfakes and computer-generated images have been around for a few years now, and they’ve become quite popular. We’ve recently authored an article in the Evidence Technology Magazine about the challenging task of Dealing with deepfakes. Much like it happens for cryptography-vs-cryptanalysis, a fight is going on here between those developing advanced neural networks, capable of creating more and more realistic fakes, and those aiming at detecting them. This fight is mostly guided by researchers, but video forensic analysts and everyone dealing with forensic image analysis are necessarily involved, since they may soon have to face deepfakes in their investigations!

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Amped FIVE Does Not Use A.I. And Implements Forensically Safe Algorithms to Enhance Video Evidence

TL;DR

In recent days, following the media attention on the Kenosha Shooting trial (“STATE OF WISCONSIN – VS – Kyle H. Rittenhouse”) in which Amped FIVE has been used for evidence analysis, a previous article on this blog about the use of Artificial Intelligence on image and video forensics has been misunderstood and instrumentalized.

The applicability of image interpolation and image enhancement at large as evidence in court has been discussed, sometimes without the needed in-depth knowledge of the field.

In this article, we will clarify some very important concepts related to forensic video analysis at large and Amped FIVE.

1) Amped FIVE does NOT use Artificial Intelligence

Amped FIVE has been designed specifically for evidentiary use. It does not use Artificial Intelligence: image and video enhancement in Amped FIVE are implemented in a forensic workflow based on carefully selected algorithms that guarantee reliability, repeatability, and reproducibility. Thanks to this, Amped FIVE has become widely accepted as the standard tool for forensic image and video analysis, being used in 100 countries worldwide.

2) Interpolation DOES NOT TAMPER with the image

We need interpolation to show things as they are: interpolation is not only used to “zoom on” an image, but it is an essential part of the creation and display of a digital photo or video. Interpolation does not add image information, but improves visualization of image data 1,2,3. Questioning the general acceptability of interpolation means questioning the acceptability of images and videos as evidence.

3) Image enhancements performed by a competent analyst with the right tools are INSTRUMENTAL FOR COURT USE

An analyst with the right tools, technical preparation, and workflow can enhance the image in a way that can help the trier of fact and be accepted in court. Image enhancement is a fundamental part of forensic video analysis and it’s the duty of the forensic video analyst to properly enhance images and videos to give a more accurate representation of the scene, compensating, when possible, the imperfections introduced by the image generation process.

We hope this new take on the argument will help to better comprehend the topic and will clarify some of the misinterpretations of the original post. And if you want to learn more on these topics, please keep reading!

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