Facebook’s iOS and Android apps are set to receive Prisma-like photo and video editing filters according to the company’s Chief Technology Officer, Mike Schroepfer.
In a blog post outlining Facebook’s plans for the future of its apps and services, Schroepfer confirmed that all of the calculations which are required to make the filters work will be carried out on-device, which means no data or images will need to reach Facebook’s servers in order for the app and its new features to function.
Interestingly, Facebook has been working on “high efficiency neural networks,” which it claims will make it possible for the new Prisma-like features to be handled right on a user’s device. Schroepfer said that Facebook found the work “technically difficult,” but that the work resulted in Caffe2Go, a deep learning platform.
Just three months ago we set out to do something nobody else had done before: ship AI-based style transfer running live, in real time, on mobile devices. This was a major engineering challenge, as we needed to design software that could run high-powered computing operations on a device with unique resource constraints in areas like power, memory and compute capability. The result is Caffe2Go, a new deep learning platform that can capture, analyze and process pixels in real time on a mobile device. We found that by condensing the size of the AI model used to process images and videos by 100x, we’re able to run deep neural networks with high efficiency on both iOS and Android. This is all happening in the palm of your hand, so you can apply styles to videos as you’re taking them.
By keeping all data on the device being used, Facebook cuts down on the time it takes for calculations to take place, which in turn makes the experience a better one for the user.
Perhaps what is more interesting is the utilization of AI in all of this, whereby the platform will be able to recognize gestures off-screen for swiping through various scenes and filters, and also “recognize facial expressions and perform related actions, like putting a “yay” filter over your selfie when you smile.”
If Facebook does start to offer on-device Prisma-like features, it’s unclear what that would mean for the real Prisma, though perhaps the added competition will allow everyone to benefit. When a company the size of Facebook steps in though, you just never do know how things will pan out.