Skylum Acquires Photolemur, Opens Up AI Lab

May 23, 2018

By Greg Scoblete

Skylum (formerly MacPhun) is acquiring the imaging software developer Photolemur, which sells an artificial intelligence-powered image editor of the same name. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Skylum will continue to offer Photolemur as a standalone product but will pool research and development resources with the acquired firm. In a release announcing the acquisition, Skylum noted that Photolemur’s next iteration may be a cloud-based service that offers superior batch editing to the current, desktop software. (You can read our review of Photolemur here.)

In addition to bringing Photolemur into the fold, Skylum is opening up an AI division “dedicated to the advancement of artificial intelligence technologies in image processing.”

The division will be run by Alex Savsunenko, formerly CEO of Let’s Enhance, a machine learning company. According to Skylum, AI research will focus on several areas of photo enhancement:

● Image upscaling using deep convolutional neural networks to improve low-resolution images and scale them up for viewing and printing.
● Automatic image tagging based on image recognition.
● Segmentation or the recognition of image areas that can be automatically enhanced using different filters and corrections based on the type of object.
● Automatic enhancement to apply image corrections to photos based on a variety of issues (similar to what Photolemur does today).

“Clearly, AI can simplify our lives. By using AI-based technologies in our products, our customers save time vs. manual editing, and can often get better results,” said Alex Tsepko, CEO at Skylum in a statement. “Our neural networks are being trained on millions of images taken by cameras from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Nikon, Canon and many others, which means outstanding results for all photographers, regardless of what style they shoot and what gear they are using.”

Skylum is not alone in pursuing AI-driven image improvements. Adobe has rolled out a number of features in Photoshop and Lightroom that leverage neural networks while Google is pumping out AI imaging enhancements at a fairly startling rate, including fixes for rolling shutter, smart object removal and a “suggested edits” tool.

Learn More: How Photography Is Changing in the Era of Machine Learning