One UX heuristic is recognition over recall — here it might mean: Give users a clear picture so they don’t need to remember themselves. In this light, Samsung’s design choice asks designers and users alike: Is this principle applicable to digital memories?
Whatever your answers here, moon zoom AI is a herald of designed perception and memory: With generative AI, much of what we see, read and hear will be a future t(a)inted by models of the past. In a way, this has always been true for humans, who are influenced by history, tradition and memory. And now also by the “stochastic memories” built into our tools of perception, production and preservation.
What about previous instruments? Humans have invented plenty of perceptive aids, including glasses, microscopes and telescopes. Any old lens may bias perception.
Where does focus end and distortion begin, and what is different now?
Here’s one take: Previous optical effects arise from physical constraints handled in instrument design. In contrast, an in-painted moon arises from digitally designed constraints slapped over physics. Crucially, this means that someone can change it on a whim: If the camera’s AI was trained on children’s books, it might give its moon shots a face.