• October 1, 2022

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New Google photo technology could dramatically improve picture quality for millions of Google Photos users and, eventually, everyone else too.

One of the Pixel camera’s unique selling points is Google’s “Real Tone” technology, which captures diverse 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 conjunction with professional image makers who are “celebrated for beautiful and accurate depictions of their subjects”, according to Google. The filters should allow people, particularly those with darker skin tones, to achieve more accurate and better-looking results.

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Google’s new skin tone adjustments have been evaluated using a new Monk skin tone scale, a ten-point color scale designed to represent a wider range of varying skin tones than other currently-available measures. Google is making the Monk scale freely available for wider industry use as an open source project, with the goal of improving the way darker skin tones are represented by technology and reducing any inherent biases that can often find their way into AI projects.

The Monk scale will also find its way into Google’s search algorithms, for example to allow image search results to be refined according to skin tone.

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

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