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Wednesday, June 16, 2021 | 07:27 am
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Google Photos Uses AI To Add Motion To Your Memories

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Google Photos Uses AI To Add Motion To Your Memories

Google Photos has new AI-powered techniques to make your photos come alive, tapping into your nostalgia and making shots more shareable in an effort to make its photography services more appealing. The company introduced the features at its Google I/O developer conference Tuesday.

One option, called cinematic moments, uses artificial intelligence algorithms to combine two photos of the same scene into a motion-infused shot. It’s an upgrade to the cinematic photos Google added in 2020. It’s a new illustration of Google’s computational photography abilities, software processing that takes a shot far beyond the original pixels captured by a digital camera.

The cinematic moments feature uses AI neural network technology to synthesize movement between two images. “The end result is a vivid moving picture,” said Shimrit Ben-Yair, the vice president who leads Google Photos, during the Google I/O keynote.

Another Google Photos option coming this summer will spot recurring patterns across your photo library and generate a collection of shots it thinks are related. Alphabet-owned Google gave the example of an orange backpack, packaging a variety of photos showing it into one collection. A third option arriving later this year will show you photos related to holiday events.

Such features can be important. For you, it can mean those thousands of photos you’ve taken become an active part of your life instead of a forgotten archive. For Google, it provides an incentive for users to sign up for Google Photos instead of using a rival service or none at all.

More Google Photos means money for the search giant, too, as it rolls back previously free services.

Google Photos arrived at I/O 2015 with unlimited storage of compressed but still high-quality versions of your photos. Starting in June, though, Google Photos’ free storage is limited to 15 gigabytes. While you might not like paying $3 per month for 200 gigabytes of Google storage, paid services can respect your privacy better than free but ad-supported alternatives.

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