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The era of artificial intelligence (AI) has arrived, with the technology poised to gain widespread influence in the coming years. With projections from Fortune Business Insights suggesting that AI will comprise a $1,394.30 billion market by 2029, it’s difficult to overstate the scale of the changes that lie ahead. Indeed, claims that AI will “affect all industries” are becoming increasingly common – and may yet prove to be accurate!
Despite this potential to influence many different sectors, much of conversation about it tends to revolve around just a few industries. These include how AI could improve healthcare, for instance, or how it might make transportation more efficient, but many others stand to be affected and traditional photography is among them.
With this in mind, here are just a few ways in which AI-driven technology it is already beginning to change photography.
Improving Camera Technology
One of the most exciting changes that artificial intelligence is bringing to photography is the introduction of more advanced focusing techniques. Anyone with an interest in photography will be aware that many modern cameras, including those found in smartphones, are capable of recognising faces and some other subjects for purposes of focus and image stabilisation. Some of the newest camera models, however, are implementing AI to advance these capabilities further.
- AI-DRIVEN // SONY A7R V -
The concept has been pioneered largely by Sony’s new Alpha a7R V mirrorless camera, which features state-of-the-art AI processing to recognise human forms and postures which can dramatically improve the accuracy of subject recognition.
Not only capable of recognising faces, the AI also improves eye-tracking and monitors movement of the body and head to make it possible to lock onto a subject even when facing away from the camera or wearing a face covering.
By working with AI algorithms, the camera is able to “estimate” poses and provide more accurate and reliable focus when shooting. What's more, it can also recognise animals, birds, insects, and vehicles, and is something that is likely to appear in a growing number of digital cameras moving forward.
- POSE ESTIMATION // © SONY -
Introducing New Attachments
In addition to altering cameras themselves, AI is also behind some emerging accessories that claim to help improve the quality of your photos for shots that are of a truly professional calibre. Using artificial intelligence that has been trained by referencing thousands of existing photographs, smart assistant devices are being developed to help people take better photos in all conditions.
Perhaps the most notable example to date is Arsenal, The Intelligent Camera Assistant – a system that can be attached to many modern digital cameras. The Arsenal assistant leverages its AI learning to optimise camera settings for the scene in hand, and uses a "neural network" to intelligently enhance each shot with its "Deep Colour" features.
- DEEP COLOUR AI // © ARSENAL -
Changing The Editing Process
At the final end of the photographic process, artificial intelligence is beginning to introduce new processes for editing photos once they have been taken. For example, new AI features in the high-end photo development suite Adobe Lightroom rely on artificial intelligence to recognise, select and mask different elements of a photo, including people, faces, clothing, animals and more.
Meanwhile Topaz Labs Photo AI uses its own AI technology to analyse your photos and then sharpen, reduce noise, and increase their resolution automatically. All of this is aimed at making the process of developing an image much easier for the user.
- TOPAZ LABS // PHOTO AI -
In the past, selecting and editing separate elements in a photo, or working to enhance the quality and resolution has largely been a manual process. With modern AI-driven software however, much of the work is done for you.
Most exciting of all for photographers is that we may just be in the beginning stages of AI involvement.
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