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Google Photos Will Soon Be Able To “Colourise” Old Photos

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Need to add colour to those old-time black-and-white photos? Google Photos has you covered. Colouring old black-and-white photos is just one of the new AI-powered features for Google Photos and with a button away you can magically turn an old photo into something new.

Google Photos is one of the easiest and best ways to backup all of the images you take with your phone. At its annual I/O developer conference, the company announced new AI features for Google Photos, its platform for storing and sending images. The company CEO Sundar Pichai talked about all the different ways in which artificial intelligence can help with its products and also to breathe some new life into vintage family pictures.

The most interesting of the new features is the ability to utilise artificial intelligence to automatically colourise old black-and-white photos. Presumably, you’d take a picture of the old photo with your phone, and then Google Photos will analyse it and produce a colourised file of it.

The AI is able to spot if a photo is too dark, or if colours can be more vibrant in the image, Pichai said. These changes aren’t automatic; the AI system offers the potential changes as suggestions instead.  “If you have this cute picture of your kid, we can make it better. We can pop the colour and make the kid even cuter,” Pichai said. 

The feature is also able to recolour photos that were originally uploaded in black and white. The AI can pick up on friends in the image with facial recognition too, and offer to send the pictures to them, to make sharing easier.

“These suggested actions are powered by machine learning, which means you only see them on relevant photos. You can easily tap the suggestions to complete the action,” Nan Wang, a Google Photos software engineer, said in a blog post.

Pichai introduced Smart Actions, with new features designed to make scanning documents and sending pictures to your friends much more efficient. The feature got the loudest cheers when announced as explained by the company it will automatically convert documents into PDF files. Or If you’re taking any photos of documents on Google Photos, it’ll be able to convert them with the AI.

Google Photos features would be available in the next couple of months.

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