During the Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s keynote at I/O 2017, there was one feature of Google Photos that was etched into the minds of those who were watching – the Object Removal feature. Of course, it wasn’t as big as the Google Assistant call feature that stole the show at this year’s conference, but it was still a notable feature. The sad thing is that this feature has not been heard of yet again since last year. Whatever happened to this feature?
During last year’s keynote, Pichai showed Google Photos using the Object Removal feature – obviously powered by an algorithm – automatically removing a chain link fence in the image of a child playing baseball. If you missed that from last year, we put the keynote video below. The feature demonstration, which Pichai described as “coming soon”, starts at around the 10:40 mark.
So you see that the Object Removal feature should have its place in Google Photos’ updated arsenal of features. But according to David Lieb, Product Lead for Google Photos, and Ben Greenwood, Product Manager for Google Photos, the object removal feature was a demonstration of Google’s machine learning capabilities. While the technology is certainly available now, the team doesn’t see the feature as a priority. Hence, the Photos team prioritized other applications of machine learning above this feature.
Google Photos is certainly one of the best services Google has, and it would have been made amazing by the Object Removal picture. Here’s hoping that this feature might make it to the service soon.