System can apply a range of styles in real-time, so that the viewfinder displays the enhanced image.
at Siggraph, the premier digital graphics conference, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Google are presenting a new system that can automatically retouch images in the style of a professional photographer. It’s so energy-efficient, however, that it can run on a cellphone, and it’s so fast that it can display retouched images in real-time, so that the photographer can see the final version of the image while still framing the shot.
The same system can also speed up existing image-processing algorithms. In tests involving a new Google algorithm for producing high-dynamic-range images, which capture subtleties of color lost in standard digital images, the new system produced results that were visually indistinguishable from those of the algorithm in about one-tenth the time — again, fast enough for real-time display.
The system is a machine-learning system, meaning that it learns to perform tasks by analyzing training data; in this case, for each new task it learned, it was trained on thousands of pairs of images, raw and retouched.