Photo enhancement technology is now almost as good as in the movies

Zoom in. Enhance. Zoom in. Enhance.

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  • · Posted 3 weeks Ago
  •  BY Jack Lowe

Remember in high-tech films from the 90s where they'd magically zoom in on dodgy, blurry CCTV footage only to magically "enhance" it and reveal the villain? Well, as funny as it seemed at the time, that sort of technology now almost exists.

The image above is an example of what current AI-powered enhancement technology can achieve using a new algorithm called EnhanceNet-PAT (catchy, we know). It was developed by engineers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen and, as shown, has the incredible ability to reproduce lost details in incredibly low resolution images.

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Image via. the Max Planck Institute

Of course, the technology wouldn't be so great for use in real-world security situations, as it's using artificial intelligence to create a new image, not a genuine hi-res version of the original, but it's impressive none-the-less. "While the pixel-perfectness is being sacrificed, the reward is a better result," says the Max Planck Institute.

"By being capable of detecting and generating patterns in a low resolution image and of applying these patterns in the upsampling process, EnhanceNet-PAT thinks how the bird´s feathers should look like and adds extra pixels to the low-resolution image accordingly," the Max Planck Institute says. "You could say the technology created its own reality. For most viewers, the result is very much like the original photo."

Image via. the Max Planck Institute

You can read more about the project and see more examples here.

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