Apple rivals Photoshop with MGIE, an AI text-based photo editor
Apple has released a text-based image editing tool that could rival Adobe Photoshop. The new tool was pioneered by a collaboration between Apple and the University of California. According to researchers, the tool can manage a variety of photo editing tasks, such as global image optimisation and tasks similar to Photoshop’s generative fill.
The instruction-based editor is called MGIE, which stands for MLLM-Guided Image Editing. MLLMs (multimodal large language models) are AI models that can process both text and images, which is no different from Stable Diffusion, Dall-E, and Midjourney essentially.
So far, these text-to-image generators have mostly been used only to create new images rather than to edit photographs. Adobe’s generative fill is perhaps the exception to this, harnessing the power of AI to manipulate portions of a photograph as directed by the user.
Changes via text
According to the researchers at Apple, MGIE can make specific text instructions to edit the photograph in accurate and targeted ways just by giving simple instructions. The example given by Venture Beat is the input “Make the sky more blue”. In response, MGIE produces the instruction “increase the saturation of the sky region by 20%.”
MGIE can also make global edits to an image. For example, it can flip or rotate an image, crop, resize, add filters, or apply an overall optimisation or exposure. More interestingly, it can make local edits to enhance specific elements of an image, such as skin, eyes or lips for example. It can also change colours to targeted areas.
On top of the generative fill type feature, MGIE sounds like a real contender to rival both Photoshop and Lightroom/Adobe Camera Raw. The AI features of these two programmes have improved leaps and bounds in the last year, and there really wasn’t a viable alternative that was anywhere near as good.
A rival to Adobe?
Adobe has been surfing the top of the market for years now, even with many photographers complaining about the subscription-based business model. Perhaps MGIE could be a viable competitor in a market that sorely needs one.
It all depends on how easy MGIE is to use and learn. Judging by past experience of using Apple software, however, the user experience and design are top of mind. Currently, this model is an open-source project and doesn’t have the smooth user experience we all require.
However, if this research hits the ground running and Apple releases MGIE as a commercial venture, then Adobe might want to start looking in the rearview mirror.
[via venture beat]
Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe