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Zoom and Enhance (kinda) go from reality to fiction with Picsart’s AI image enhancement – TechCrunch


Can you raise that?? The CSI detective asked a computer nerd wearing glasses, pointing at a six-pixel area of ​​CCTV footage that could be a driver’s license or maybe not. Two seconds later, they have their name, date of birth, address, shoe size, IQ, favorite color, list of allergies, and Netflix viewing history. Entertainment, yes. Unreasonable and impossible, for sure. But for photographers sitting on an old photo library leaving something to be desired on the resolution and clarity front, it’s been a longtime dream. Online photo editing tool Picsart today launched a new AI-powered image enhancement tool to enhance dreams into reality.

This tool can provide image enhancement and enhancement to improve overall image quality and resolution for printing or sharing online. The company explains that it uses advanced AI models to remove or blur pixel effects, add pixels, and sharpen and restore scenes and objects, including faces. This type of technology has traditionally been limited to expensive software of limited quality, but Picsart is laying the groundwork to deliver this as an easy-to-use, low-cost tool.

“Even with the amazing advancements in camera technology, we still find that many images are not high enough quality to satisfy all creative needs,” said Humphrey Shi, chief scientist at Picsart and founder of Picsart AI Research, said in a press release. “Users can now easily apply AI Enhancement to any image and increase quality and resolution in seconds, and we are delighted to offer this capability to more than just the general public. Our co-creators but also businesses use Picsart.

This technology is available as part of Providing Picsart APIs for Business, launched earlier this year. The feature will also be rolling out in the Picsart iOS app as “HD Portrait”, which will improve or restore the quality of facial elements.

I’ve tried the tool and found out it works well with images that start out pretty well, but there are also some nice ones at times. . . what shall we say, exciting result.

The first is an example of the technology working as it should – this is a photo taken back in 2006, with the Sony Ericsson K608i camera phone. It was one of the early “high-quality” camera phones and took reasonably high-resolution photos. This one is 1280 x 1024 pixels. Picsart’s AI upscaled it to 2560 x 2048, but more importantly, it did a really impressive job removing a bunch of digital noise:

PicsArt enhanced photo

Sony Ericsson K608i sample image. Image credits: Haje Kamps

Let’s take a closer look:

PicsArt enhanced photo

The original is on the left, and the enhanced and denoised version of Picsart is on the right. Image credits: Haje Kamps

Pay attention to the sharpness of the lines on the windows, the features on the roof, the noise level of the sky, and the clarity of the marble. Very impressive indeed.

I’ve tried Picsart’s technology on a bunch of old photos and have been consistently impressed and amazed by the results. Here’s another photo, also taken with a Sony Ericsson K608i – the sharpness and contrast look a bit creepy, but the sharpness of Ashley’s face and the sharpness of the bottle labels are really impressive.

Ashley Smithers, currently CEO and Founder of Amefist. Why is there a purple platypus drinking beer in this photo that has fortunately disappeared in the mists of time. Image credits: Haje Kamps

The filter goes a bit too far in sharpening the faces, presumably because it’s trying to extrapolate what it knows the faces are “supposed” to look like. I believe it’s starting to seem a bit unrealistic; My face is sharp, yes, but the Apple logo and the text in the elevator behind my head are still blurry. It makes the photo dip its toes in Strange valley a bit too much for my liking. It’s also a bit curious that the second reflection of my face (in the mirror, over my shoulder) isn’t sharpened or enhanced.

Yours is actually dressed up as Hitman, photographed with the original iPhone. Image credits: Haje Kamps

Some of the photos I ran through the tool remained essentially unchanged, and others altered the faces of the people in the photos unrecognizably, in extremely unflattering ways. However, Picsart’s technology is both impressive and fun to play, and as their team points out, this is an early version of the tool, which will be further improved over time. Finally, I’m happy to see some of my very old photos come to life again, even if they’re horribly noisy, blurry, and at the lowest resolution of the bin.



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