Getting comfortable with artificial intelligence can take a bit of getting used to. Being a Gen. Xer, we are perhaps seen (by some) as a little cynical — I mean we rode the computer generation wave to a degree. We saw the first home computer revolution, I watched as my children take to it with ease as I struggled to figure out a mouse.

We’ve “seen” it all, right? But I have always been a bit of an early adopter. AI has been no different. In fact, I find it kind of cool. And yes … I DO use it. No, I am not worried about the “rise of the machines,” either. I believe we will always need a human component.

Where we came from

Do you remember when Adobe Lightroom first came out? It was a total game-changer for photographers. Or when Photoshop first got Content-Aware Fill? How did we live without it?

So many small and subtle (and some not so subtle) changes have been increasingly added to various software. From Lightroom and Photoshop, Skylum and ON1 to just watching TV shows and movies suggested on Netflix! Have a close look at your camera. While it’s possibly just some mathematical formulas, there is definitely some cool stuff sneaking in there too. AI is slowly but surely creating a larger footprint. I for one, LOVE it.

The future is bright

So where will all this AI take us? I think predominantly it is removing the hard number crunching aspects of editing and making it more enjoyable for many. From using AI to help with portraits (without the hassle of doing it all ourselves or paying someone else to do it). Batch editing can be simple, quick and realistic.

Only just last year Skylum came out with Luminar 4 and the cool AI Sky Replacement tool. Some loved it, some hated it. Personally, I loved some of the sky replacement and Skin and Portrait Enhancers in Luminar 4, along with various other AI tools. They were fun, but also helpful. I can enhance a sunset or make a fantasy sci-fi landscape with ease.

AI Sky Replacement and AI Augmented Sky in Luminar 4 — making an alien landscape.

A tool for good

I am really looking forward to working with the new AI tools listed for Lightroom and Photoshop. The new sky replacement and color grading tools will make life even more creative.

Add to that the new AI features listed for LuminarAI, which could be a real game-changer. I believe that AI really can make editing less of a chore, if you so wish. Or that it can enhance your creative editing, if that is more your passion. To be able to cover off the basics for a portrait with Body, Face and Skin AI, then being able to have total control over creative editing as well.

I can see some real advantages to editing studio sessions, events and such where you are editing fairly similar shots. Then, of course, there are other uses for landscapes and still life. Hopefully, when I can go back to traveling I can batch edit travel shots and get creative with the ones that truly inspire me. Or do things as simple as fix boring skies in an otherwise great photo.

Where are we heading?

This is a good question, where are we heading with all this AI? Will it be become redundant as photographers and editors? I don’t think so. I feel there will always need to be a human equation in the mix.

According to computer scientist Kai-Fu Lee, author of “AI Superpowers,” “Today’s AI is useless in two significant ways: It has no creativity and no capacity for compassion or love. Rather, it’s a tool to amplify human creativity.”

As long as keep creating and being creative, AI will only be there in a service capacity. Artificial Intelligence is just starting to ramp up in all sectors of life, not just photography, I believe we will see more and more of it. I feel there is a need to work with it and learn to understand it more, to be able to fully grasp its functions and purpose.

I think there are some exciting times ahead.