Over the last couple of days I’ve been uploading my travel pictures and videos to Google Photos, which I wrote yesterday is pretty impressive. I also wrote about how the program spontaneously creates collages, gifs, and videos.
Then this morning after I had finished uploading a batch of images from Ostia Antica — a fantastic city of ruins outside Rome — I got a notification telling me that Google Photos had created a new video. I tapped through and discovered this:
This video is super cheesy. But it’s also incredible. Where did Google Photos get that song, and how was it selected from among others? Why did it add what appears to be a color filter to the video? How did it choose which photos and videos to include out of the fairly large collection from Ostia Antica?
All of which is to say, how is an algorithm making highly creative (if not especially tasteful) decisions?
I have no idea, but it certainly feels like we’re reaching some sort of tipping point in the way that we interact with technology and content.
— Jim Dalrymple II