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Adobe’s AI tools let you instantly edit images
October 29, 2017, 4:17 pm

Advances in artificial intelligence are making it easier than ever to seamlessly edit and manipulate images. Adobe recently showed off some prototype AI tools at its annual MAX conference that further refine the image editing capabilities of AI.

Developed by the Adobe’s machine-learning division, Sensei, which previously demonstrated a voice-activated Photoshop assistant and an automatic selfie-tweaker, the new tool is called Scene Stitch. 

The new AI tool is basically an advanced version of Content Aware Fill, Adobe’s go-to method for removing unwanted items from images. But while Content Aware Fill looks within the picture being edited for plausible filler (copy and pasting in that patch of grass, or this rock) Scene Stitch uses Adobe’s library of stock photos as a paint palette instead. It analyzes the image the user is trying to edit, and swaps in similar scenes and perspectives.

Adobe says it is also working on making this tool semantically aware, so it not only recognizes the composition of the image, but also the content. For example, it would suggest swapping out people with more people; trees with different trees. From the perspective of someone trying to spot an edited image, this makes it much harder, as you cannot just look for repeated patches of pixels.

Another feature, demoed under the codename Project Cloak, is essentially Content Aware Fill but for video. It allows users to isolate a specific part of a clip — say, a streetlight that is in the way of a nice view — and remove it with the click of a button. Making this sort of edit is already possible, but it usually requires going through a video frame-by-frame. It is hard work and takes skilled labor.

Contemporary AI is proving to be a remarkably able tool for this sort of task. And although image and video editing is not anything new, the possibility of giving easy-to-use tools like this to anyone who wants them may be a cause for concern. Fake news, for example, could be turbo-charged by these sorts of capabilities, as could information warfare from nation states. In the future, the axiom, ’seeing is believing’ might not be as truthful as it is today.


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