Watch how this app uses AI to colorize vintage photos


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/24/watch-how-this-app-uses-ai-to.html


#2

That’s really good. One more skillset of mine made obsolete.


#3

You mean “AI”.


#4

I really, really, really, really, REALLY hate colourisation. It is not a valid photographic technique.

An image taken in black and white was created by someone who knew the limitations of their medium and how to get the image they wanted despite them, or someone who intentionally wanted to remove colour for whatever reason they chose.

“Colourisers”, as someone who is OK with mask layers and doesn’t like black and white images as they look “old fashioned” do not know the intent of the image creator.

Additionally, you don’t know what the original colours were. You can’t know. The information wasn’t captured. The processed image is less accurate than when you started your wrongheaded “I MADE THIS FOR NANANANANANAN LOLZ” crusade.

Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate.

That said, the AI seems reasonably clever.


#5

IF it was professionally taken, then that is a possibility, but not a certainty…

Colorization can make old images more relateable to modern people, especially when those images are of great grandparents or family from another era.

The photos might have more artistic merits as the original black and whites, but artistic merit isn’t the only reason for capturing images. photography serves many functions from practical identification cards to artistic compositions to historical records. I wouldn’t say any of the uses are wrong, or any of the treatments are invalid, outside the context of the intended outcome and use.

They are getting closer and closer to cracking this egg as well. By using AI to analyze the amount of light reflected off of a surface and how that changes based on the surface lighting etc in relation to other colors in the same photo, if the photo has enough visual information AI can already guess the gloss and infer the most probable color matches. It is a different problem from the video, but i’m sure as these techniques progress you’ll be seeing that aspect improve and get integrated into more of these projects. colors reflect differently off of each other based on which colors they are, etc. there is some residual color information, just not information our human brains can translate back into colors.


#6

They still look colorized.


#7

Photography was around for 100 years before color became available. We can’t know, but I’d guess the vast majority of those early photographers would jump at the chance for color instead of what they had.


#8

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