Adobe shows how AI can work wonders on your selfie game

The company's so-called Sensei tools can do wonders for smartphone photography.


Adobe has been focused on making its mobile apps powerful photo-editing tools for quite some time. At its annual MAX design conference last fall, the company debuted Sensei: a collection of AI and deep learning tools that can analyze an image before applying some pretty hefty edits. To show off just what the system is capable of, Adobe posted a video this week that shows how Sensei can help transform a sub-par selfie into something worthy of Instagram or Snapchat.

The video includes some tools we already knew about -- mainly the ability to copy one photo's style and look to another in a couple of taps. Adobe researchers worked with Cornell University to employ AI to take things like color, lighting and contrast you really like in one image and apply it to a boring ol' crappy photo. While that tool is part of an experimental app called "Deep Photo Style Transfer" that's posted on Github, it looks like Adobe has plans to bring that feature to a more robust piece of mobile software.

Thanks to Adobe Sensei, a mobile app could also allow for easy perspective editing and automatic photo masking. A liquify tool updates to the perspective of a selfie with a slider, keeping the subject's face in proportion while the edits are applied. A similar tool has been available inside Photoshop Fix for a while now, but the so-called Face-Aware version just hit Photoshop on the desktop last summer. If you need to adjust the depth of field, portrait masking can help you easily do that with a simple slider adjustment. Adobe hasn't been shy about bringing desktop-friendly features to mobile, so don't be surprised if this masking feature makes the leap.

While all of these tools make for a compelling photo-editing app, there's no indication when (or if) Adobe will put them in a piece of software you can actually use. Given its recent mobile focus, you can bet more powerful features are coming to the likes of Photoshop Fix and other apps. It's only a matter of time.