Hoping someone has a subscription to Adobe Photoshop, sufficient skills to make complex edits, and the time to actually fix this…just kidding, we are all busy enough at the moment.
I was inspired to write this post after Professor Kane’s reminder of Adobe’s successful switch to a SaaS model and a recent announcement by Adobe for a launch of a web version of Photoshop and Illustrator. It seems Adobe continues to pursue digital transformation even after transitioning to a SaaS model.
A New Web-Based Tool
The new web-based Adobe tools are not a huge change to the current tools, but I believe they are necessary. Two specific changes are the Creative Cloud Spaces and Creative Cloud Canvas.
Creative Cloud Spaces – this acts as an online archive for various digital assets which can be accessed via Photoshop, Illustrator, XD, and Fresco from a tablet or computer. Think GoogleDrive but for Photoshop.
Creative Cloud Canvas – this tool allows team members to add shapes, text, stickers, and even working files to a document where team members can communicate and collaborate in real-time. Think GoogleDocs and commenting features but for Photoshop.
In the end, not groundbreaking advancements, but definitely ones that will help promote collaboration in the digital arena.
As I read more and clicked on embedded links, I discovered a more fascinating set of changes that focus on Adobe Sensei, the company’s AI and ML system.
First, they have improved the “Object Selection Tool” which now allows you to hover over an object and select it with a single click. You are able to do this due to improvements made to the machine learning system within Adobe Sensei. What once required you to painstakingly use the lasso tool to carve out an object, now takes a simple click of the mouse.
Second, Neural Filters have been updated to allow you to change several features of your photo – from color schemes to shading. Most impressive is its ability to ADD pixels to an image (like adjusting someone’s smile) based on the neural network’s knowledge about images like it.
Third, Landscape Filters. To be honest, this one was most impressive to me. You can take a photo and adjust it to look like Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring, or a time of day. It uses neural filters and automatically adjusts the photo to represent the season. Moreover, you can use Landscape Mixer to combine several photos into one – take a photo of someone walking on the beach and mix it with a picture of a grassy field, and VOILA you have someone walking through a grassy field with the ocean in the background. Rewind 20 years ago, and someone would think this type of technology was magic.
Let’s keep going with what Adobe Sensei enables – Harmonization. Have a photo of a stunning tree changing colors? Also have a great selfie? Use Harmonization to merge the two while Adobe Sensei detects color palettes, shading, and more to make the merge faster and a more refined final product.
Shifting away from photo-editing tools but staying on the topic of Adobe Sensei, this AI/ML system can:
- inform marketers by predicting customer behavior
- choose best-performing experience to achieve goals
- predict and forecast impact of different budget scenarios
- continously monitor campaign performance to optimize ad delivery
With companies spending more money on digital advertisements (Google earned $147B in ad revenue in 2020), it seems Adobe is adding tools and features that utilize AI/ML to support various business needs of today and the needs of the future.
Content Authenticity Initiative
Lastly, I want to talk about Adobe’s Content Authenticity Initiative, a new initiative “to provide and assess digital content provenance and attribution.” Essentially, it’s a series of tools so that content creators can add metadata to files and receive credit for their work, while also helping to combat misinformation.
A content creator can capture edits that they make to their content by attaching information as secure metadata in a file sent to someone else. You can also verify content through Adobe’s database. Information such as lens type, software used, camera make & model, focal length, ISO, and more can be embedded as metadata within the picture file.
Adobe has also partnered with NFT marketplaces such as KnownOrigin, OpenSea, Rarible, and SuperRare to allow creators to mint their work as crypto art.
They have also made efforts to combat misinformation, specifically DeepFakes. Adobe has partnered with Twitter, WaPo, BBC, Getty Images, to name a few, in order to try and get ahead of people using content editing tools for mischievous purposes. Whether those efforts can keep up is still very much in question, but it is a start.
While I do not have a lot of experience using Adobe, it’s come up in several classes during my MBA. Their transition to a SaaS model is a remarkable case study in business strategy. More and more content is being created and distributed online and AI/ML systems are becoming more powerful and more ubiquitous in businesses. Adobe seems to understand this and continues to pursue digital transformation to become a leader in the content creation software industry.
For those willing to try it out, here’s a free 7-day trial and discount for students. You could definitely up your Instagram game with some of the tools available…
I subscribed to a free trial of Adobe and was able to use the object detector to remove the people. That’s as far as I got, but I was able to use this tool within an hour of subscribing.
Or…I may just stick with Canva.com to have some fun…