Did AI Prove The Patterson-Gimlin Film to be a Hoax?

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Nope. Just more clickbait.

Here we go again. Another news story making the rounds in supposedly credible outlets that purports to prove once and for all that Bigfoots aren’t real. This time it is reporting on an Artificial Intelligence stabilization of the PG Film. There are literally hundreds of iterations of the article, but we’ll use the one from IFL Science. I mean, they have science right there in the name, surely they give us a good scientific breakdown.

The article gives some background on the PG Film first, and then embeds a tweet from Rowan Cheung, a reporter of all things AI. Here is the tweet, which as it turns out is the one and only source for all of these articles.

The tweet that started it all.

Now the analysis from IFL Science:

“…without the camera shake it is virtually indistinguishable from a person walking along inside an ape-like costume.”

Famous Bigfoot Footage Stabilized Using AI, Making It Pretty Clear What It Is

That’s it. There is no analysis. There is no zooming in, or being able to see a zipper, or seeing where the top and bottom halves separate. There is nothing other than that one statement.

Saying “it looks like a guy in a suit” is no more scientific than saying “it looks like a Bigfoot”.

Some articles cite the replies to the tweet as their evidence. They even embed or copy the replies of random Twitter users!

What Does This New Stabilization Mean?

Nothing really. The film has been stabilized before. Some of the articles say that this version is de-grained, but the original tweet doesn’t say that. It’s important to note that the author of the tweet doesn’t make any comment on the validity of the footage. Various news outlets just picked it up and wrote their own headlines.

I would also wonder what an AI would do when tasked with “clearing up” the Patterson-Gimlin Film. Can it take a grainy film and “enhance” it using its’ own breadth of knowledge to fill in the gaps left by the lack of video quality? If so, this would be similar to pareidolia in humans. We turn patterns into things that are familiar to us. An AI would be pulling from a knowledge base that says Bigfoots cannot be real, and therefore the film must be something else. Then the AI would enhance it to look like something else wouldn’t it?

I’m not an AI expert by any stretch, so my above statement may be ridiculous – I’m not sure.

My Conclusion

I’m not 100% on the PG Film and likely never will be, but these types of headlines are harmful to the goal of getting to the truth and disingenuous. Most people only read the headlines and then take that as fact. Some of these headlines say that this proves Bigfoots aren’t real. That is silly. The PG Film does not have to be authentic for Bigfoots to be real.

Chad Gatlin

I have been a Firefighter, a Radio Personality, a Writer, and an Insurance Agent. Now I am adding Author to that list! I have had a long interest in the weird and unexplained, and love to discuss and debate these subjects.

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