Now Adobe shows why you can't believe your ears (video)

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More than three decades since it was founded, and almost that since the birth of its best-known child, Adobe continues to amaze.

Invented in 1988, Photoshop has become almost a generic term, too rarely acknowledged in press photographs with the phrase, "digitally modified".

And as the wonders issuing from the business established by John Warnock and Charles Geschke - who I had the privilege of interviewing in the 1980s - continue to flow, so do the ethical and legal issues.

Most recent is the VoCo audio editor, glimpsed at Adobe's Max event earlier this month, which in many respects does for a sound bite, what Photoshop did for a digital image. It's a cloning tool: Give it a few minutes of sound - Adobe's Zeyu Jin says 20 minutes will do nicely - and it will give you much more, allowing a user to literally put words into someone's mouth by simply keying in desired dialogue.

This video - with Jin (pictured) introduced by Jordan Peele and Kim Chambers - speaks its capability more eloquently than I can in words, and acknowledges the risks that go with a product of this potency. Jin makes it clear that Adobe is aware of legal and ethical implications and is working on watermarking and other protections.

But while Adobe may be able to keep VoCo in the pen, its Max Sneaks statement of capability is an open challenge to rogue operators to pirate and abuse. Happily not their problem.

After that, the other glimpses seemed tame by comparison, but nonetheless represent tech opportunities of which publishers should be able to make use.

A drawing tool called Stylit - which allows users to generate content which can be used as a 3D render, even in animation - and a 3D continuity tool, CloverVR for Premiere Pro, are also jaw-droppers in their way.

Peter Coleman

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