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_the photographic AI of Google’s Night Sight


This Geoffrey A. Fowler article mis-represents photography through a tool not intended to do so: Your smartphone photos are totally fake — and you love it
Night Sight on Google’s Pixel, which shoots pictures in the dark, shows how phone cameras have become faketastic



• What we love is not the fake but the quality of interpretation that is expressed in a photo.

The little camera on this phone has a superpower: It can see things our eyes cannot.
• It is what our eyes can see and what most cameras cannot see that Night Sight can see.

Now artificial intelligence and other software advances are democratizing creating beauty. Yes, beauty.
• AI cannot create beauty. That is a cultural construct that can only be initiated by humans and should not be confused with technical gimmicks.

But increasingly, it’s software — not hardware — that’s making our photos better.
• Photos are made better only by talent and creative experience, and not by preset filters.

Anyone who has attempted a low-light shot on a traditional camera knows how hard it is not to take blurry photos. With Night Sight, before you even press the button, the phone measures the shake of your hand and the motion in the scene to determine how many shots to take and how long to leave the shutter open. When you press the shutter, it warns “hold still” and shoots for up to six seconds.
Over the course of the next second or two, Night Sight divides all its shots into a bunch of tiny tiles, aligning and merging the best bits to make a complete image. Finally, AI and other software analyze the image to pick the colors and tones.

So if our phones are making up colors and lighting to please us, does it really count as photography? Or is it computer-generated artwork?
• “computer-generated artwork” is an oxymoron. Computers generate nothing more than images.

Kenan Aktulun: “The ones that get a lot more attention are not technically perfect. They’re photos that provide insight into the person’s life or experience.”

Thu, November 15 2018 » technology