Kyle Rittenhouse judge fooled by claim iPad pinch-to-zoom manipulates footage with AI

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What you need to know

  • iPad evidence became a hot topic during the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on Wednesday.
  • The defense attorney argued that Apple's pinch-to-zoom feature on iPad uses "logarithms" or AI to manipulate video.
  • Somehow, the judge bought it and agreed it would be "high risk" to show evidence on an iPad without expert testimony proving this wasn't the case.

Apple's iPad and pinch-to-zoom technology became the center of a bizarre debate in the double homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on Wednesday after a defense attorney argued Apple's pinch-to-zoom feature used AI or "logarithms" to manipulate video.

The sequence played out on the trial's livestream, as shared by The Washington Post. Five hours and two minutes into the live stream defense attorney Mark Richards addressed the court regarding video evidence that was about to be shown to the court on an iPad stating:

"iPads, which are made by Apple, have artificial intelligence in them that allow things to be viewed through three-dimensions and logarithms. It uses artificial intelligence, or their logarithms, to create what they believe is happening. So this isn't actually enhanced video, this is Apple's iPad programming creating what it thinks is there, not what necessarily is there

Richards prefaced his comment by stating he didn't understand logarithms "at all", although he presumably meant "algorithms". The matter was debated for some ten minutes, with the District Attorney Thomas Binger stating pinch-to-zoom was commonplace in everyday life and that the jurors would understand, he also noted it wouldn't alter the video at all. At one point the judge asked if the footage would be in its "virginal state" and stated "I don't believe that" when told it was like viewing something through a magnifying glass. Apple's own support document titled 'Zoom in on the iPad screen' defines the feature stating "on iPad, magnify the screen with full-screen zoom or window zoom" to be used on all of Apple's best iPads.

In an exchange noted by The Independent defense attorney Richards asked the DA what operating system the iPad used, with Binger replying that he didn't know off the top of his head:

Mr. Richards, appearing satisfied with the judge's objections, asked Mr. Binger what operating system the iPad used. Mr. Binger said he did not know off the top of his head."Thank you!" Mr. Richards responded, as if proving a point."It's an iPad, Mark," Mr Binger replied.

The court instead viewed the footage through a Windows device connected to a TV in the courtroom.

Pinch-to-zoom was one of the defining features of the original iPhone and its multi-touch display as demonstrated by Steve Jobs during the original keynote. Kyle Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to five felonies that include first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9