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One pixel can be enough to fool AI image recognition

Posted on Monday, October 30 2017 @ 10:38:28 CET by

A group of researchers from the Japanese Kyushu University discovered AI-based image recognition tools can be really dumb and easily exploited. By altering a relatively small number of pixels, which would not be noticeable to a human observer, the AI-based systems can be tricked into classifying a photo of a car as a dog, or a dog as a cat:
As explained in a paper, the researchers came up with the startling conclusion that a one-pixel attack worked on nearly three-quarters of standard training images.

Not only that, but the boffins didn't need to know anything about the inside of the DDN – as they put it, they only needed its “black box” output of probability labels to function.

The attack was based on a technique called “differential evolution” (DE), an optimisation method which in this case identified the best target for their attack (the paper tested attacks against one, three, and five pixels).
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By changing five pixels in a 1024 pixels photo, the researchers achieved a success rate of 87.3 percent. The big caveat here is that they used very small images. On a photo of 280,000 pixels, which is about 530 x 530 pixels, it would require the alteration of 273 pixels, which is still relatively little. Full details at The Register.



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