How’s this for futuristic – a new web application known as Algorithmia has tapped into an artificial intelligence network so advanced that it can take your black & white photos and turn them into color, sort of like stripping Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz from her rustic, very blah black and white Kansas home into the vibrant, colorful, trippy world of Oz. By utilizing what the developers call “deep learning” research, Algorithmia has the seemingly supernatural ability to auto-fill black and white pictures with color that they would naturally possess.
Employing an algorithm known as the Colorful Image Colorization algorithm which was created by a team of researchers at UC Berkeley, Algorithmia is now a fully functional web demo that will enable anyone to paste the URL of a black and white photo into the website and click the “Colorize It” button to see the photo in actual, living color. The relatively instantaneous process will then present you with a side-by-side comparison of the original black & white photo alongside its interpretative colorization of the photo that you can proceed to toggle between.
Those looking for high quality should temper their expectations – a professional photo editor or retoucher could definitely do a better job at creating and manipulating a photo to make the colors more lush and vibrant. Still, for an AI computer learning system that needs no human interaction whatsoever to operate, Algorithmia is a rather impressive system. After all, it’s taking photos originally captured in black and white and inserting color into them that it “learned” by simply studying color composition from more than one million sample photos. With Algorithmia, the future is looking rather bright.