Editing images with machine learning

Chinks in my armour of learned Photoshop helplessness

Why are we doing anything manually any more? There is AI to do all the menial repetitive menial stuff for images, and manual repetitive image processing is the unambiguous great triumph of modern AI.

There is a brief efflorescence of quirky small ML companies producing these apps before they get bought up by Adobe.

Background removal is something I need in practice often. Clipping Magic is fun and removes backgrounds using AI plus also a nicely-designed user interface.

Competitor removebg does something similar, and slightly cheaper, although there is less user configurability.

croppola does content-aware cropping.

Kritik Soman’s GIMP-ML plugins bring some cute ML tricks to open source image editor GIMP. I love the idea, but it is quite unwieldy.

All the above ones are already from previous hype cycles. Here is a new crop of automatic image editing:


Famously viral in recent times, Let’s Enhance uses AI super-resolution and colour enhancement to make images bigger and shinier. Might also salvage something usable from facebook’s savage compression and downsampling.



a platform for creators of all kinds to use machine learning tools in intuitive ways without any coding experience. Find resources here to start creating with RunwayML quickly.

In particular it plugs into Blender and Photoshop and allows you to use those programs as a UI for ML-backed algorithms. Nice.


Soman, Kritik. 2020. GIMP-ML: Python Plugins for Using Computer Vision Models in GIMP.” arXiv:2004.13060 [Cs], October.

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