LG will introduce a powerful new camera AI for the V30 smartphone at MWC

LG won’t unveil the successor to the G6 at MWC in the final week of February; instead, the new device will be launched at a stand-alone event at a later point in time. However, there will still be some interesting news for mobile photographers from LG at the trade show. Namely, the Korean manufacturer will introduce a suite of AI technologies for its smartphones, with the 2018 version of the flagship V30 being the first device to feature the new tech.

LG’s objective for the new system was to deliver a “unique and more intuitive user experience”, focusing on the camera technology and voice recognition.

“As we communicated last month at CES, the future for LG lies in AI, not just hardware specs and processing speeds,” said Ha Jeung-uk, senior vice president and business unit leader for LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Creating smarter smartphones will be our focus going forward and we are confident that consumers will appreciate the advanced user experience with the enhanced V30 that many have been asking and waiting for.”

The Vision AI component puts the focus on camera usability and performance. It automatically analyzes objects and recommends the best suited out of the following shooting modes:

  • Portrait
  • Food
  • Pet
  • Landscape
  • City
  • Flower
  • Sunrise
  • Sunset

In addition to any detected objects in the frame, the system takes into account the angle of view, color, reflections, backlighting, and saturation levels in order to pick the best mode. For example, framing a plate of pasta will result in food mode being triggered. The final image result will show warmer colors and increased levels of sharpening for a pleasing visual presentation of your lunch.

A new low-light shooting mode, also on board, automatically brightens images in dim environments by a factor of two.

Like other AI systems—think Google → continue…

From:: DPreview

Google Photos adds new AI-powered themed video options

The Google Photos app has been capable of automatically generating themed videos using image recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) for a while now. The feature was originally introduced in 2016 and automatically creates videos from your images for special occasions, such as Mother’s Day (see you video above), or by selecting a specific type of photo in your collection—for example selfies.

Now Google has expanded the selection of themed videos that can be created in the Photos mobile app or on the web platform. There are nine themes in all, and the naming is pretty self-explanatory:

  • Mother’s Day Movie
  • Father’s Day Movie
  • Smiles of 2017
  • Doggie Movie
  • They Grow Up So Fast
  • Meow Movie
  • Selfie Movie
  • Valentine’s Day Movie
  • In Loving Memory

To create a video, you have to tap on the Assistant tab in the app and then tap on Movie. Once the theme and the people or pets you’d like to appear in said theme are chosen, algorithms create the video, including background music. You’ll receive a notification when everything is finished.

The service is rolling out to most regions today. You can see some more sample videos on the Google Photos Youtube Channel.

→ continue…

From:: DPreview

Microsoft’s new AI unleashes its inner artist

By (Adrian Pennington)

An AI with an imagination? Science fiction is now reality

A new AI system by Microsoft is taking things to a new level by introducing ‘imagination’ and the ability to draw pictures of objects from scratch. Intriguing stuff!

  • AI
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Microsoft

    → continue…

    From:: RedShark News

    Building a Monster in Two Months: On Frankenstein AI: a monster made by many‘s Race to Sundance

    By Lance Weiler

    The lobby is packed. Within minutes of opening, a line has formed for Frankenstein AI: a monster made by many, and we’re completely booked for the day. Festival-goers curious about emergent forms of storytelling weave their through the New Frontier section of the festival, a labyrinth of VR, AR and AI. Now in its 11th year, Sundance’s New Frontier is hosted in two venues and has expanded to over 30 exhibitions ranging from individual experiences to a social VR theater for close to 100 participants. The last few months have been a whirlwind. On November 13th I received an email […] → continue…

    From:: Filmmaker Magazine

    Google teamed up with pro photographers to train its Clips lifelogging camera

    Google debuted its $250 ‘Clips’ lifelogging camera to the public during the October 2017 launch event for the Google Pixel 2. Now, with the camera becoming officially available in only a few weeks time, the company has published a blog post that explains how the Clips camera’s underlying algorithms were trained to identify and keep the best shots, and discard the leftovers.

    It turns out Google relied on the expertise of a documentary filmmaker, a photojournalist, and a fine arts photographer to train the AI and feed some high-quality photography into its machine learning model. The group collected and analyzed recorded footage from members of the development team to try and answer the question: “What makes a memorable moment?”

    “We needed to train models on what bad looked like,” said Josh Lovejoy, Senior Interaction Designer at Google. “By ruling out the stuff the camera wouldn’t need to waste energy processing (because no one would find value in it), the overall baseline quality of captured clips rose significantly.”

    The learning process includes basic elements of photography, such as an understanding of focus and depth-of-field, or the rule of thirds, but also some things that are obvious to most humans but less so to an algorithm—for example: don’t cover a lens with your finger and avoid abrupt movements while recording.

    Google admits that there is still a ways to go before perfection. It says the AI has been trained to look at “stability, sharpness, and framing,” but without careful calibration, a face at the edge of the frame will be appreciated just as much as one at the center, even if the focus of interest is really somewhere else in the image.

    Twitter is using AI to intelligently crop image previews

    Twitter added the ability to upload images back in 2011, and while many people take advantage of that feature, one of its big drawbacks is crappy cropping. As Twitter engineers explained in a recent post, the platform automatically crops image previews for the sake of consistency, but these crops usually focus on the center of the image… often at the expense of the photo’s subject.

    A poorly cropped image may hide the most interesting aspect of the photo—instead presenting a glimpse of a wall, empty sky, or something else similarly boring. And that adorable photo of Fido is a lot less adorable when it’s cropped right through the center of his head.

    According to Twitter engineers Zehan Wang and Lucas Theis, the company at one point used facial recognition to somewhat solve this issue. With that, the system would identify the most prominent face in an image and base the crop around it. The system wasn’t perfect, though, nor relevant to images without faces.

    A better system, the researchers explain, is one that focuses on saliency—that is, on the parts of the image that are prominent and mostly likely to be noticed. In other words: the most ‘eye-catching’ part of the photo.

    “In general, people tend to pay more attention to faces, text, animals, but also other objects and regions of high contrast,” the duo explain. While a neural network can be trained to identify the salient parts of an image, it presents its own issue: it is too slow to put into production.

    However, the team found a solution to that problem—one that enables Twitter’s platform to immediately detect the most ‘eye-catching’ part of an image and then crop with that at its center. The end → continue…

    From:: DPreview

    Apple answers the Echo and Home with the new HomePod

    By (Simon Wyndham)

    Can Apple take on the might of the Amazon Echo and Google Home?

    Apple enters the quality audio and home automation market with the new HomePod. Is this another milestone on the highway to the intelligent home, and AI everywhere?

    • Apple
    • HomePod

      → continue…

      From:: RedShark News