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Cameras are rapidly changing thanks to new technology, they’re getting faster with much better image quality, and thankfully the prices are dropping significantly in entry level models because of this.
Every now and again, I like to write a prediction piece about photography or the imaging industry to paint a picture to where it might be headed. With cameras reaching their ‘peak’ in current technology I thought I might turn my attention to where they might be going aside from higher megapixels or greater ISO’s. So, in the rest of this article I’ll like to talk about Artificial Intelligence and how it could intertwine with camera technology.
“Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software.” – Wikipedia
AI is quite an interesting topic on its own, but when combined with cameras my mind instantly searches for sci-fi comparisons and how this technology could get out of hand with robots taking over the world. Putting that thought aside, I imagine AI would be used in such a way to make cameras much more intelligent when ‘connecting the dots’.
What I mean by this is how we go about doing everyday tasks. For example think of the process of taking a photo. You look at a scene, record it to a memory card, typically send it to a computer and then process it before saving it. Imagine if you could just take the photo and AI does the rest.
The cameras of the future will talk seamlessly with other technologies – sort of like bluetooth today. Imagine having your favourite way of processing your image – you may like your photos to look a little darker with a warmer tone. Your computer will recognise this and talk directly with your camera to tell it that you prefer your images to be taken and edited in this way. You might opt to select this AI adjustment and the next time you take a photo it will automatically go to your computer via the cloud with your preferred adjustments already made. Now this is a simple example, but I imagine it could get a lot more complex.
Future designs of cameras will probably differ as well. No longer will you have large bulky cameras, instead you’ll probably start to see smaller smarter cameras that have ‘fluid’ sensors (some undiscovered material) rather than a powered one. Wouldn’t it be great that your camera knows exactly where you are based on the landmarks you point it at? It’s geolocation would be instantly known before the camera turns on. What this means for you is when you take your photo it would automatically upload the image to everyone who knows you are travelling on your trip. Your family and selected friends would automatically receive the images straight to their smart device or virtual reality device so they can see you wherever you might be – the images or video would be beamed in 2D and 3D depending on the device creating a traditional or immersive experience.
Face recognition would take a new meaning with AI. Have you ever thought about how much data we input into computers already? This personal data input is basically teaching a mind (in this case Apple, Google or Microsoft) what we like, who our friends are and how we interact with the world. Eventually all this data will become a personal cloud account for you.
Cameras will be able to use this data to create custom memories without having to even do anything….What if you didn’t need to have a shutter button on a camera? Could that be a possibility? AI could well be developed enough to know who’s devices are around us – AI could know that your friend is nearby based on the camera or smart phone their using and their geo location and as soon as we got close to them our personal cameras whether on devices or ourselves would automatically start recording. The images or video would be uploaded in real time to our private or public cloud.
So, do you think cameras in the future could be without shutter buttons? Could we see a flash that borrows light from surrounding devices in order to save on power in the camera? Whatever the future is I’m sure AI will serve it’s purpose and still make us the photographers – not the robots. What do you think?