Canon jumps on the AI bandwagon with its free photo culling app

Tips & Techniques

Canon has just launched a new app that helps you select the best among all those phone snaps. Like some attempts before it, Canon is relying on AI which should help ditch the “bad” photos and keep the “good” ones. But can AI really recognize what’s worth keeping and what should be discarded? Let’s try to find out.

The app is appropriately called Photo Culling and it takes four key factors into consideration: sharpness, noise, emotion, and closed eyes. It’s based on Canon’s unique computer vision AI engine PHIL (Photography Intelligence Learning), which suggests photos for deleting based on these criteria. It just gives you a hint, but you can choose which ones you’d like to keep and which to delete.

With Photo Culling, you can ask the app to group similar photos and find the best ones, or it can select your best overall photo. It also gives you personalized photo scores for all of your photos and set the parameters for them. It reminded me of this AI tool that seemed like a good idea, but it turned out to be… well, not very intelligent.

Note that Photo Culling only supports JPG files or photos taken from your phone’s native camera. Canon notes that uploading and processing speeds depend on the CPU power and available memory size of your phone. In addition, the app is only available for iPhone for now. There’s currently no word when the Android version will be announced, if at all. But if it happens, we’ll update the article.

Now, I don’t have much trust in AI photo culling and image recognition. It does get smarter with time, but there are still failures like that time when AI mistook dunes for nudes. Or a more recent case of “sexy onions.” Reading Photo Culling’s description, I thought – Okay, AI can sure detect if a photo is blurry, grainy, or someone in it has their eyes closed. At least I hope the technology has improved enough not to ask Asian people if someone blinked.

Google, its Pixel 3 phones, and Kodak also use AI photo culling technology. It’s apparently becoming all the rage lately, and I expect that more companies might jump on the same bandwagon. If you’d like to check out Canon’s Photo Culling, you can download it in the App Store.

[via Canon Rumors]

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