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Can Google replace photographers with an algorithm?
Like all mediocre photographers, Google’s Clips camera occasionally lucks into some good pictures. The new $249 gadget, released in February, automates much of the job of a certain kind of photographer. You place the 2-inch high white square on a surface, preferably someplace frequented by children or pets. It automatically captures any “candid” scenes it determines are worthwhile with its wide-angle lens. Essentially, Clips combines the hands-off approach of a surveillance camera with the visual style of a surveillance camera. The software looks for children, animals, and faces, preferably within three-to-eight feet of the lens. Clips likes movement, but tries to avoid blurry photos and can tell when something is blocking the lens, like the hand of a curious child. It learns the faces of the people you save the most and takes more pictures of them. It is programmed to have a preference for happy, smiling faces. Google doesn’t see Clips as a replacement for photographers, but as another tool they can use.
candid – of a photograph of a person) taken informally, especially without the subject’s knowledge
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