Google’s Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro make it easy to fix any photo. This means no more closed eyes or washed-out backgrounds, but it also means giving up your privacy because Google requires permission to access the photos on your phone. In this photo, heads from previous photos were swapped in to make a better composition. (Source: Google)

Google Pixel 8 AI Tech Simplifies Image and Sound Manipulation on Photos, Videos

In an article from, we have encountered a term known as “AI Manipulation.” That means your Google Pixel smartphone can now make sure every photo you take, when manipulated by Google, is better than the original photo. No more closed eyes or blinking showing in the photo. Why? The article explained Google’s approach to AI manipulation this way:

Google’s Best Take

“Now a new breed of smartphone tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) is adding to the debate about what it means to photograph reality.

“Google’s latest smartphones released last week, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, go a step further than devices from other companies. They are using AI to help alter people’s expressions in photographs.

“We’ve all had an experience: one person in a group shot looks away from the camera or fails to smile. Google’s phones can now look through your photos to mix and match past expressions, using machine learning to put a smile from a different photo of them into the picture. Google calls it Best Take.”

How It Works

The AI in the phone goes through all past photos and picks and chooses pieces of the photos that can be manipulated to fit the photo you are taking.

The devices also let users erase, move, and resize unwanted elements in a photo—from people to buildings—”filling in” the space left behind with what’s called Magic Editor. This uses what’s known as deep learning, effectively an artificial intelligence algorithm working out what textures should fill the gap by analyzing the surrounding pixels it can see, using the knowledge it has gleaned from millions of other photos.

It doesn’t have to be pictures taken on the device. Using the Pixel 8 Pro you can apply the so-called Magic Editor or Best Take to any pictures in your Google Photos library.

Too Much Info Released

To take advantage of Google’s Best Take technology, you have to permit Google to use your phone data to build your manipulated photo. That is being called unnerving by some early users of the phone.

“Google’s new AI technology has been described variously by tech commentators and reviewers as potentially ‘icky’ (The Verge), ‘creepy’ (Tech Radar) and having the potential to ‘pose serious threats to people’s (already fragile) trust of online content’ (Cnet).”

Andrew Pearsall, a professional photographer, and senior lecturer in Journalism at the University of South Wales, told that AI manipulation held dangers.

“One simple manipulation, even for aesthetic reasons, can lead us down a dark path,” he said.

A Separate Reality

Some people believe this new technology creates an entirely new category in art and photography. Already AI AI-created images have won art competitions in Colorado. Is that fair to other artists who don’t use AI in their paintings?

“It’s not photography, it creates a new reality.”

He said the risks were greater for those who used AI in professional contexts but there were implications for everyone to consider.

“You’ve got to be very careful about ‘When do you step over the line?’ asked Andrew Pearsall,

Manipulation of photographs is not new—it’s as old as the art form itself. But never has it been easier to augment the real thanks to AI.