The future of smartphone cameras is AI

Even before Google demonstrated its frighteningly believable and controversial Duplex AI, artificial intelligence and machine learning was already a big topic on smartphones. But with very few exceptions AI on smartphones have so far been limited to one common use case: photography. You might be tired of hearing about it every new phone launch event but, sooner than later, it’s going to cease being just a buzzword. Pretty soon, “camera AI” will be something that all but the cheapest entry-level smartphone will have as a basic feature. Just like dual cameras.

How it works

At its most basic, camera AI on smartphones is used for scene recognition. You fire up the camera app, point your phone at your subject, and it will automatically tune the settings for the best possible shot, depending on what category the subject falls under and other factors like lighting conditions. It’s pretty much the camera’s mode on steroids but that belies the heavy computational processing that happens, especially even before the camera app is installed on a smartphone.

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