In court or in a police investigation, a digital photo is considered as solid evidence of an event having occurred, but a drawing by a person who has witnessed the event wouldn't be taken as seriously.
Yet from an information point of view, both processes are similar:
- An image of the event was captured by the system (the camera lens, the witness's eyes).
- This image was converted (camera: into 0 & 1s, witness: into neural signals) and than stored in the system (the camera's digital memory, witness's brain).
- The image was later retrieved from storage and reproduced (camera: printed or displayed on a monitor, witness: doing the drawing themselves or using a forensic artist).
The processes are similar in principle, the only difference is the degree of accuracy, i.e. it is a quantitative difference. Yet they are considered to be entirely different qualities of evidence: The witness's reliability (even assuming good intentions) will be questioned and disputed by any prosecutor or lawyer. The digital photos will not be disputed in most cases, and would require an image processing specialist if they wanted to make the claim that it was digitally tampered with or photoshopped or something.
- Am I correct that this an epistemic question? Why is a digital photo considered more reliable than a human drawing?
- Does this have any implications for AI? We hear strong AI is impossible, computers can never do what a human does, blah, blah, but here we are trusting a very primitive computer (that's what a digital camera is) to be a much more reliable witness than a human.