Samsung has recently come under fire after widespread reports that its camera software simulates zoomed images of the moon, but things could get a lot more disturbing. A Edge reader wrote on Wednesday to tell us that the company’s software is add teeth to photos of their seven-month-old daughter.
This reader says they recently got an S23 Ultra and decided to try the Remaster feature in Samsung’s photo viewing app, Gallery. (It’s the default photo app for the phone, and the feature is available inside the camera if you visit your photo roll.)
They expected something like what Google Photos does, suggesting specific tweaks and filters, blurry images, and more. Instead, they got the results you can see below, with the original image on the left and the “Remastered” one on the right.
So… it’s nightmare fuel. Sure, it wipes out an unsightly snot (the world can’t think this baby isn’t ready for her close-up 100% of the time), but it also seems to look at the baby’s tongue and immediately jump to “I know at what it should look like: a nice row of fully developed teeth!
The reader also sent us a video of the Remaster feature turning their daughter’s tongue into teeth in another image, which makes it look like it’s not just a one-time issue.
I was unable to reproduce these startup issues myself, using the same version of the Gallery app on a standard S22. Tried to remaster half a dozen baby pics (and even a screenshot of the updated, less toothy Sonic trailer ) and never seen anything like what this user got. I also haven’t been able to find anyone else reporting this type of issue, so it’s impossible to say for sure what’s going on.
We reached out to Samsung for comment, but didn’t immediately receive a response.
Samsung’s website says the Remastering feature “automatically removes shadows and flare to make your photos look great.” Contrary to Samsung’s explanation of the Scene Optimizer feature which added details to the moon, Samsung’s description of the Remaster feature doesn’t even include a hand wave about “AI” or “learning by depth”. It doesn’t even really look like the beautifying filters we’ve seen on phones for years, with teeth whitening filters possibly possibly misfiring in such an overwhelming way. From what Samsung wrote, I would basically expect it to just change my exposure settings, like Google Photos’ “Enhance” feature.
So where do the teeth come from?
The reader described the resulting image as “much more disturbing than a fake moon shot if you ask me”, and I somewhat agree – the edited moon images look like slightly better images of the moon , while it is the embodiment of disturbing tweet about teeth.
However, I will say that there is a difference of context here. Moon tampering happens automatically in the camera app if you have enabled a certain feature. Here you always have to explicitly request a remaster (which you have the option to delete, leaving the original untouched). The moon story has sparked discussions about what exactly it means to take a picture, when it’s mostly a story about an editing feature taking a far too aggressive bite. If Samsung was using AI to yank babies or give them teeth straight out of the camera, we’d be having a very different conversation here, but right now that’s not happening. But I still hate watching it.