The Future of Photography

If you are thinking how good your next phone’s camera is going to be, it would be good to pay attention to what the manufacturer has to say about Artificial Intelligence.

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The Future of Photography

By

Mishal Shaheen

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Future of Photography
Future of Photography

If you are thinking how good your next phone’s camera is going to be, it would be good to pay attention to what the manufacturer has to say about Artificial Intelligence. The technology has made innovation in photography over the past couple of decades, and we have no reason to guess that this innovation will ever stop or slow down.

Artificial Intelligence is changing the game of photography

There are still a lot of rumors around, to be sure. But the truly famous recent advancements in photography are now taking place at the software and silicon level instead of the sensor or lens — and that is all because of Artificial Intelligence that gives cameras a better understanding of what they are focusing at.

How did Google bring innovation in photography?

Google Photos showed a clear example of how strong a mix AI and photography would be. It happens when the app was launched in 2015. Before that, the search engine had been using machine learning to shape images in Google Plus for many years, but the launch of its Photos app included consumer-facing AI features that would have been unimaginable to most. Users’ disorganized libraries of thousands of untagged photos were transformed into searchable databases overnight. This could be a disaster.

AI and lenses

Intelligent photo management software is one thing, but AI and machine learning are having a bigger effect on how images are captured in the first place. Now lenses continue to get a little faster and sensors can always get a little bigger.

Neural Processing Unit (NPU)

Neural Processing Unit
Neural Processing Unit

However, it’s not uncommon these days for phones to take better photos in some situations than a lot of professional camera gear, at least before post-processing. That is because traditional cameras cannot compete on another category of hardware that is also good for photography: the systems-on-chip that contain a CPU, an image signal processor, and, increasingly, a neural processing unit (NPU).

Read impressive article on Internet and Children

But even at this early stage of computational photography, there are real benefits to be found from phone cameras that have been designed around machine learning. In fact, out of all the possibilities and applications raised by the AI hype are of the past few years. It is the area with the most practical use today is arguably photography. The camera is an essential feature of any phone, and AI is our best shot at improving it.

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