Adobe Photoshop Now Uses A.I. to Pull Humans Out of Photos

Say goodbye to tedious tracing.


Now you don’t have to be an expert Photoshopper to precisely cut a human figure out of a photo. Thanks to the new Select Subject feature on the upcoming Adobe Photoshop CC, it just take a hover and a click to outline and grab a subject.

The cutting edge tool is made possible by, what else? A.I., of course.

In a move that is very on trend for 2017, Select Subject uses Adobe’s machine learning platform, Sensei, to power its human-recognition abilities. The A.I. platform is used across the vast suite of Adobe products.

“It uses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning to help you discover opportunities that are hidden, make tedious processes fast, and show you which data insights matter — and when they matter,” Adobe explains on their site about what Sensei is designed to do. “Adobe Sensei draws from our massive volumes of content and data assets and our decades of experience in creativity, marketing, and document management. ”

When contacted by Inverse, Adobe declined to comment further on just how the A.I. recognizes human figures, but the results in a demo video are impressive — and underline just how much less time-consuming this new feature is than painstakingly tracing around a person to cut them out of an image.

“We’re excited to give you a sneak peek into one of the new functionalities coming to Photoshop CC. Select Subject, powered by Adobe Sensei, is a tool that enables users to make their selections in one click,” Adobe announced. “With Select Subject, you’ll be able to get started with your selections faster than ever before.”

As Photoshop’s Product Manager Meredith Payne Stotzner shows in Adobe’s YouTube demo, all you need to do is click on the image in the program’s “Select and Mask” workspace. The tool will automatically select the subject in the photo for you.

“Complicated details around the subject aren’t an issue, because this feature is using machine learning to recognize the objects,” Payne Stotzner says during the preview video. Indeed, whereas users previously needed to hand trace a figure by hand in older Photoshop versions, now you can let the A.I. grab it. While minor details like hairs and fingers may need tweaking afterward, the biggest hurdle of creating a human cutout is done by the program.

Considering “human removal” is typically a heavily used part of Photoshop, this will no doubt have an impact on both professional users and amateur meme-makers. Not to mention, given that Sensei will begin to learn the Photoshopper’s habits over time, the A.I. will eventually improve its preciseness even more.

Check out this video of Bob Ross (and his happy little trees) as seen by Google’s A.I.

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