When you think of artificial intelligence, you may think of a robotic dystopian future or the exceedingly long movie from 2001. But to me, artificial intelligence brings plenty of hope to the world, if for no other reason than to make human lives easier.

Our lives are busy and full of opportunity. With AI in our corner, couldn’t we accomplish so much more?

The most valuable asset impacted by AI

What does this mean exactly? To me, it means that algorithms will perform common actions to provide great outcomes. It means that I won’t have to perform mundane manual tasks.

In short, I’m going to save time, and time is arguably the most valuable asset. I can turn extra time into creating a better story, getting inspired or exploring other creative possibilities. In the end, I feel I’ll get better results and become better at what I do.

Retaining human control

It is time we start thinking of artificial intelligence as our helpful but not overbearing friend. AI will simplify the complexities of photo editing, but still leave us in control. AI may recommend creative choices for photo editing, but my choice is final. I’ll still be able to rely upon my eye, my composition, my approach… all the things that make me the photographer that I am. But, I’ll now be even more efficient and able to focus on higher levels of detail.

How AI can help

Imagine a world where you could instantly remove skin blemishes while preserving textures and fine details. How about automatically improving facial features such as eyes, lips and teeth? Perhaps enhancing bokeh and natural lighting without manually applying numerous filters and tediously adjusting a plethora of sliders?

What about the scene? Wouldn’t it be great to create landscape and alter the atmosphere? AI can help create haze or drizzle, manipulate the sky, or provide mood and contrast. Just think of the applications!

What if you’re a wedding photographer? Why spend hours touching up a few of your hundreds of photos, or creating actions to apply to your entire batch of photos, when AI could get you two-thirds of the way there instantly? What if the client doesn’t like your direction and your hours of editing are wasted? Now, it’s less of a problem.

And while AI can save time for the professional, just think of what it can do for the novice. Why play around with the vibrance sliders when AI can harmonize your colors instantly? If your shot isn’t perfect, AI can add the clarity and depth the scenes needs. AI can even crop your composition like an expert. In today’s world, I don’t believe that enhancing your skills, honing your craft and being efficient need to be mutually exclusive endeavors. Learn while doing with the power of AI.

I’m excited for the possibilities that AI can bring to my workflow, allowing me to focus on the more exciting and creative parts of photo editing. Innovation has driven our profession and AI is the next step in the journey. And it should provide us with more of life’s most precious commodity — time.