Google Announces Major Google Photos Upgrade for Millions of Users


Google’s new photo technology could dramatically improve image quality for millions of Google Photos users and, eventually, everyone else.

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One of the unique selling points of the Pixel camera is Google’s “Real Tone” technology, which captures various skin tones more accurately when taking photos. Now, at this year’s Google I/O, the company has announced that new Real Tone filters will be coming to Google Photos. These will allow you to edit and enhance any of your existing photos using new filters designed in collaboration with professional image makers who are “renowned for their beautiful and accurate depictions of their subjects”, according to Google. The filters should allow people, especially those with darker skin tones, to get more accurate and beautiful results.

Google’s new skin tone adjustments were assessed using a new Monk Skin Tone Scale, a ten-point color scale designed to represent a wider range of varying skin tones than other measurements currently available. Google is making the Monk Scale freely available for wider industry use as an open-source project, with the goal of improving how darker skin tones are represented by technology and reducing inherent biases which can often find their way into AI Projects.

The Monk scale will also find its way into Google’s search algorithms, for example to help refine image search results based on skin tone.

The new Real Tone filters are expected to arrive on Google Photos in the coming weeks on all platforms.

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