AI Turns Google Street View Into A Professional Photographer

AI Turns Google Street View Into A Professional Photographer
Design

Engineers at Google used machine learning to create stunning landscape photos

Leo Lutero
  • 25 july 2017

Google Street View has been a valuable tool for many travelers. The 360-degree images are fascinating to explore but they’re not exactly the best looking photos. A team of engineers in Google is changing that. Using deep learning technology, Street View images can be converted into stunning landscape photography.

The method requires many steps and it mimics a professional’s process. The first step was to teach the machine to understand what makes good photography. Using a pool of professional quality images, the program was able to deduce what exactly makes a photograph amazing. Using Aesthetic Visual Analysis (AVA) and what the AI had already learned, the team then scanned about 40,000 panoramic images from the Street View library to look for opportunities. The system automatically cropped the 360-degree photos into well-framed images.

The images from Street View are also often lackluster in color and exposure. Hui Fang and Meng Zhang, the duo behind the project, also added automatic fine-tuning of the images. Using the same kind of AI used to generate realistic imagery, dramatic effects are applied to the images. Instead of overlaying the images with filters, the AI understands what elements exist in the image and, in turn, tweaks the lighting accordingly.

To gauge the efficacy of the system, the creators let professional photographers rate the output. An AI-predicted score was also given to each of the images. A comparison of the scores shows that Hui Fang and Meng Zhang’s project has been a success, with both AI and human professional photographers giving high scores to the same images.

This program has a huge potential in training even those who use only smartphone on how to take stunning photos. Also, it could mean that AI will be responsible for turning your lackluster photos into worthy masterpieces in an instant.

The duo wrote a paper called ‘Creatism: A deep-learning photographer capable of creating professional work‘ to document their project.

Google

Google Street View has been a valuable tool for many travelers. The 360-degree images are fascinating to explore but they’re not exactly the best looking photos. A team of engineers in Google is changing that. Using deep learning technology, Street View images can be converted into stunning landscape photography.

+AI
+artificial intelligence
+Arts & Culture
+arts & culture
+Design
+Earn media / increase exposure
+Google
+google street view
+machine learning
+photography
+technology
+travel
+work

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