While Adobe released Photoshop on the iPad on Monday morning, there was also a lot of buzz of its grown-up sibling, Photoshop on the Desktop. Sporting a new rounded corner logo to signify that’s it’s now multiple device-centric, Photoshop received several updates that were driven by Adobe Sensei technology.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Stephen Neilson, Director of Product Management for Photoshop, during Adobe MAX. We discussed Monday’s update to Photoshop, and what he sees as the future in terms of artificial intelligence and machine learning in Photoshop.
Intelligence for your workflow
Monday’s announcements revealed the new Object Selection feature, as well as enhancements to Content-Aware Fill and other tools, all powered by Adobe Sensei. What’s that mean for Photoshop users and their workflows?
“Machine learning, AI and Adobe Sensei has such an amazing opportunity to help photographers and all Photoshop users, because it’s a completely different way of developing software,” Neilson said. “We’ve always had lots of ideas on things that we could do to help photographers and Photoshop users to complete different tasks, but we didn’t always have the technology to do that. Machine learning is opening all kinds of doors.
“You see it with the Object Selection tool — draw a box and it makes a selection. It’s really powerful. And Content Aware Fill, with the new advancements there — I like to describe it as collaborating with the algorithm or machine. Tell it what you want it to fill and what not to fill. I think there’s a ton of potential — we’re just at the beginning.”
Moving forward, users can expect to see more AI to make edits easier than ever before.
“I think we’re going to see machine learning start to change just about every part of the app. From things like making a selection, blending things together … but also in things like choosing colors or fonts, even selecting the right photo to work on out of a set,” he said. “I think there’s a tremendous amount of opportunities to reconsider ideas that weren’t possible, because we have technology that could solve the problem.”
Making Photoshop more approachable
With Photoshop being around for nearly 30 years, it’s easy to understand why Photoshop has grown to become a behemoth of a program. While it’s well respected among pros, it can be viewed as having quite the learning curve to new users.
Adobe has been adding in-app tutorials to the Learn tab as a part of Photoshop’s home screen, to help make Photoshop more approachable to any type of user.
“Both are designed to bring in learning content that would be valuable for any type of user. On desktop, we have a bunch of in-app tutorials that will walk you through step-by-step how to get something done. And on the web a bunch as well,” Neilson said. “Long-term, the goal is to make that content highly personal and personalized for your skill level, the things you’re interested in, etc. We’ll definitely be using machine learning to build the recommendation engine. We want people to be successful in learning our products.”
In the cloud
One of the other announcements made earlier this week was the introduction of Cloud Documents, making your documents stay in-sync no matter what device you’re on. Neilson is excited to see the potential of this throughout Adobe’s Creative Cloud apps.
“The announcements somewhat understated the importance of Cloud Documents, and the workflow between desktop and iPad,” said Neilson. “But also, just generally speaking, Cloud Documents is really going to change the way you use Photoshop long-term, with things like automatic saving to the cloud and versions. It’s a tremendous amount of work, what we’ve done to get Cloud Documents in desktop and iPad at the same time.”
In terms of seeing Photoshop on other platforms, Neilson doesn’t have anything to announce yet, however, the ultimate goal is for Photoshop to be available on every device available.
“We would like to bring Photoshop to all devices. We don’t have anything to announce right now, but the idea would be to bring Photoshop everywhere.”