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Adobe’s new Photoshop AI editing features look truly mind-blowing

Google put its best foot forward with AI image editing during the Made By Google event yesterday, but Photoshop-makers Adobe is keen to show off who’s boss.

Ahead of the full launch at Adobe Max next week, the company previewed Project Stardust. It’s an object recognition feature that effectively treats items captured within the frame as layers that can be moved, edited, deleted, or exchanged.

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In an example shown in the preview video, the project manager showcased how it was possible to remove a suitcase from the frame completely, remove its shadow, and fill in the background.

Furthermore, it was possible to replace the suitcase handle with a bunch of “yellow flowers”, or any object you’d like to type into the search field.

In another example, Adobe shows how blurry people in the background can be completely removed from a frame in a couple of clicks. Users will also, quite remarkably, be able to completely change the outfit they were wearing in the photograph, just by selecting the item of clothing one piece at a time. Again, you can just describe the clothes you want to wear.

And that, according to PM named only as Aya, “is just a fraction” of what we can expect from Project Stardust. She says: “This engine is going to revolutionise the way we interact with Adobe products.” She promises mind blowing new features at Max, which runs from October 10-12.

As miraculous as this sounds, it’s all quite concerning. When is a photo not a photo anymore? The reliability of an image has already been called into question by deepfakes and other advanced editing techniches. AI is already fashioning images from scratch, but these new tools make it possible to easily manipulate any existing image to showcase in whatever the Photoshop user wishes.

My colleague Ryan Jones expressed similar concerns about the AI tech revealed by Google yesterday, which is definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

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