I did some photoshopping the other day. Can you tell how I modified this image?
Rugby Photo

Perhaps I should say “Can you tell how we made this image?”, because there is more going on here than just my mind and hand. Sure, as far back as a decade ago it might’ve been possible for someone to make the same edits, but that person would need to be far more experienced than I.

To view the original, click below and hover over the image above.
Turn hover mode on.

When comparing the images side-by-side, it’s easy to tell that the part of the picture that was filled in is lower detail and has a few errors, but unless you’ve worked with a lot of images in the past I’m guessing that it wasn’t apparent before seeing the original. My partner in crime here was a tool called Resynthesizer for the GIMP. This is the open-source version of the “content aware fill” that will be included in the next version of Photoshop.

The reason that I’m able to perform such a complex fill on an image is not because I am experienced. It is because the tools have knowledge and skill embedded into them by their creators. As AI becomes more successful, our tools will become more competent at doing complex things with little supervision. This will put people out of work. This is the future. We don’t need or want more capable people, we want more capable autonomous systems; systems that can mow lawns, shovel snow, cook, clean, write, watch, build, experiment, and teach.

1 Comment

  1. I did notice that you altered the background because the fence had a PS look to it, not a camera look, but I could not have guessed that you took out a guy. I think the new program works better for taking out than putting in. But yes, eventually things will all be done in PS like we’re seeing with tacky greeting cards. I have noticed that it takes just as much work to make things look good, even with all these tools as to do things by hand. The knowledge is also the same, for the computer can’t tell when things look good or not.

    Old arguments. But it’s a fun post.

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