This year, Google Photos will receive a whole slew of enhancements based on machine learning and artificial intelligence, with a strong focus on the Memories feature. Most importantly, Google is giving consumers more control over the photos that display in Memories, which are selected and organized automatically using machine learning.
Over 4 trillion photographs and videos are stored in Google Photos today, but the vast majority of them are never viewed. To address this, Google has been working on AI-powered tools that will allow users to reflect on significant events in their life. Google Photographs’ Memories feature, which debuted in 2019, allows users to resurface photos and videos centered on people, activities, and hobbies, as well as recent highlights from the week prior.
Google revealed the addition of a new sort of Memory, dubbed “little patterns,” during Google I/O. Little Patterns uses machine learning to find a set of three or more photos with similarities, such as shape or color, which it then highlights as a pattern for you.
When one of Google’s engineers traveled across the world with their favorite orange rucksack, Google Photographs was able to spot a pattern where that backpack appeared in photos from all around the world.
Simple family photos taken in the same room with an identifiable piece of furniture, such as the living room couch, can also form patterns. These photos may not appear to be much on their own, but when added over time, they can create some amazing collections.
Google will also add Best of Month Memories and Trip Highlights to your photo grid, which you will be able to remove or rename, as well as Memories commemorating special occasions such as birthdays and holidays.
Google says these events will be identified based on a number of variables. This can be done by identifying objects in the images, such as a birthday cake or a Hanukkah menorah, as well as comparing the photo’s date to known holidays.
The Best of Month and Trip Highlight Memories will be available on the photo grid starting today. You’ll start seeing Memories tied to the events and occasions you commemorate later this year.
Another upcoming feature is Cinematic Moments, which is similar to MyHeritage’s “deep nostalgia” technology, which went viral earlier this year and allowed users to animate images of long-lost loved ones. Except in Google’s instance, it’s sewing together a sequence of photographs to create a sense of action and movement, rather than taking an old shot and bringing it to life.
People frequently take multiple photos of the same event in order to get one “good” image to share. This is especially true when attempting to capture something in motion, such as a small child or a pet who cannot sit still, Google explained.
These new Cinematic moments build on Google’s Cinematic pictures feature, which utilizes machine learning to produce colorful, 3D renditions of your photographs, which was announced in December 2020.
Google Photos will be able to produce vivid, dynamic visuals by filling in the gaps between your shots to generate new frames, using computational photography and neural networks to stitch together a succession of near-identical photos. At this moment, no date has been set for this feature’s introduction.
Of course, not every memory from the past is worth reliving for a variety of reasons. Although Google has provided tools to conceal specific photos and time periods from your Memories, it is continuing to introduce more restrictions and making it easier to access its existing toolset later this summer.
Working with the transgender community, who have expressed discomfort about reviewing previous pictures, has been a major focus.
Users will soon be able to erase individual photos from Memories, delete their Best of Month Memories, and rename and delete Memories based on the events they commemorate.
The new Locked Folder, which is a passcode-protected place for private photos, is another excellent addition to Google Photos. Many users automatically sync their phone images to Google’s cloud, but then want to use the app on their phone or even their linked TV to pull up photographs to present to others. Of course, if their galleries are full of personal photographs, this can be problematic.
This feature will be available first on Pixel devices, with users being able to save photographs and videos directly from their camera to the Locked folder. Later this year, the upgrade will be available for more Android devices.