Can Google replace photographers with an algorithm?

Google has invented a new gadget called Google Clips. The Google Clips, is a small, 2 inch high camera that automates the job of a photographer. Users would place the camera on a surface, preferably somewhere that people or pets would pass by frequently, such as a living room or kitchen space. Using an algorithm, the camera would capture “candid” pictures of scenes it believes are worthwhile. The camera looks for children, animals, and faces 3 to 8 feet from the lens when determining what makes a good photo. This may sound creepy, especially being from Google, a company known for capturing users data. However Google has been careful to not raise any privacy red flags and only  stores images and videos on the device. These clips can be previewed by connecting directly to the clips camera from your smartphone and manually choosing what you want to save.

I found this article to be interesting because it is difficult to create an algorithm that determines a good photo. This ties into our in class conversations of artificial intelligence, by using an algorithm to perform a task usually done by a human, which is capturing a “candid” photo. I feel as though this device is a good idea in concept, but would not take photos as well as a human can. I wouldn’t see myself using this much but its definitely a cool idea.

9 thoughts on “Can Google replace photographers with an algorithm?

  1. I felt like the readings were very interesting since the writer thought that there are no algorithms that determine which are the good photos. for me with the developments in technologies, Ai would able to learn themselves based on the photos that people preferred. With all the information and data collected, Ai would or might create some photos that would fulfill everybody.

  2. The idea of an automated Camera seems very interesting, and to me, a little creepy. I understand the idea of trying to capture a candid photo, but it doesn’t seem like it’s completely necessary to buy a camera that sits in your house to get that shot. With technology as advanced as it is these days, it would make sense to me that there would be some sort of tracking with this kind of technology. Even though there is this privacy policy, since it is sent to your phone, there are companies that take data from your phone, and so this is where I see the loophole wit this product. It is in question that this might be a ploy for google to collect more data from the public, but that’s just my theory. Apart from the negatives, I see why there would be a demand from, trying to get a nice candid shot of either your pets or you family, and the the price for the camera is not terrible.

  3. This article at first had me feeling very fascinated because of the amazing things Google can do. Each day, Google is progressing from not only a search engine we use when we need answers, but now, it is slowly becoming a photographer. However, this thought also leaves me feeling uneasy in a way because it shows how technology is slowly taking humans jobs. If Google can learn how to take better candid pictures and videos of humans, then photographers will soon be overlooked and forgotten. However in a way, I also do believe that Google cannot take as good quality photos as humans. My first point is that photographers know how to capture the value and meaning behind a photo or video because they have been trained and focusing on this their whole lives. Meanwhile, the Google Clip will just keep taking non-stop photos in hopes that it captures the right one. My second point is that I do not believe many people will find the need to invest in this product. Yes, it seems like an interesting concept but who usually finds candid photos/videos in their homes to be useful? I instead think it is more creepy because the camera constantly taking photos/videos of your home can invade privacy. My third point is that most people use cameras and take photos while not in their homes. For instance, I know for myself I take photos when I travel to cool places, when I go out with my friends, or when I am with my family, however, I do not see myself needing a camera for capturing pictures/videos in my home. I also do not believe that the Google Clip will do a good job in capturing the correct angles or cropping out something that was not meant to be in the photo. Because of these reasons, I do not believe that the Google Clip is a good investment and I believe that we should leave photographers to do what they are best at. We see each day that the unemployment rate is decreasing from technology taking over humans jobs and if this invention is improved and fixes its flaws, then it can have the potential to take photographers occupations. According to, “Smarter computers mean that any mid-paying job that involves a routine: data entry, number crunching, operations, and so on, will be replaced as well, which will remove a big piece of the approximately 7 million business and financial operations jobs that exist in the United States.” This quote shows how technology is taking over humans jobs which is why the thought of the Google Clip being invented is scary to me. Overall, I believe that Google is good for what it does and does not need to add the Google Clip.

    Here is the link to the website I used to get information on unemployment:

  4. This definitely seems like an interesting topic and I can see how it would be useful especially for placing around a house or office setting to try and capture natural photos. However, I can see many instances where this gadget wouldn’t be able to replace an actual photographer, for example, concert photography. Many artists and venues hire photographers to take photos of the event and this is one instance that simply placing this Google Clip in one area wouldn’t be as successful as a person. Being able to move around and get different angles while using different settings on the camera is what makes an array of unique photos that can represent what you’re photographing. One angle could tell a different story than another, which is where the Google Clip is lacking. Sure, you could set up a bunch of them, but this piece of technology may not be able to see things (from a photography standpoint) that someone trained in this art may be able to see.
    This article mentions more about the technology behind Google Clips, but one quote that relates to my point is, “‘Right now, it doesn’t understand the world in general.'” I believe this is true, especially with the event photography since the technology isn’t advanced enough to replace photographers.

  5. I believe the Google Clip could be a very useful gadget in the future and that the creation of this algorithm is absolutely amazing. Someone above pointed out the price point being relatively high at $249. Many high end cameras retail for large amounts of money and there are some very good reasons why (article on this listed below). Although I am not intelligent enough in the field of IST to create algorithms, I assume this is a very lengthy process which would in turn raise the price. Anytime more labor is needed, companies will need to raise the price of a product in order to turn the same profit. Candids can be a very powerful moment for a photographer. Jonah Berger discusses in a podcast, released by the University of Pennsylvania, that candid photos increase impression rates and make the viewer more likely to want to get to know the subject. Going off of this theory, I think it would be very valuable to have a camera that can capture those candid moments that happen in the absence of a handheld camera.

  6. I think this concept is really cool! With all technology, however, there’s always going to be an aspect of creativity that can only be made by a real human being. The idea of being able to capture cute candid’s of your pets is great, but in my opinion it is more valuable to actually take those pictures yourself. I think when you take the photographer out of photography, it fails to be actual art and becomes less valuable. Additionally, I agree what some of the other students brought up which is that the cost of this product/ service seems way too high for the actual results you get. This idea doesn’t seem like much more than a really high tech trail cam. Who is to say you couldn’t just set up a trail camera aka a hunting camera in your home to capture candid pictures and videos of your pets? Like I said, the idea is great but there isn’t really a demand for this product.

  7. I feel as though this product has a lot of potential to be either really good or really bad. Firstly, retail price for the Google Clip is $250. That is not a small amount to pay for something that feels insignificant. One would most likely not spend this much on a present, and I feel people would not want it enough to buy it for themselves— which leads me to my next question, who is the target customer for this product? People who are photographers, either professionally or for fun, would certainly appreciate the candids this could capture. However, it takes away from the whole point of actually being a photographer and taking the pictures yourself. I could understand the appeal to maybe parents, but I feel people would be uncomfortable having a camera set up in their house at all times. The only way I truly see this product working is if it’s used for experiments or research purposes. Suppose it is placed in a restaurant or coffee shop to see who the general customer of an establishment may be. Or any other experiment tracking what people look like, wear, their expressions, etc. If market research shows that there is a need for a product like this, I think Google should sell it to companies in need of this type of research. It should not be sold to the general public as a fun item.

  8. This is a really interesting idea! If the camera were able to take clear, well positioned photos, a lot of people may actually use it. However, this product does seem like it would be more useful to people with stronger online presences, such as bloggers, Youtubers, and Instagrammers. This device could be an easy way for image-driven people to create new and unique content.
    Despite the positives to this innovative idea, the fact that this is a Google product may turn some potential customers away. Google is notorious for misusing private information. In fact, a couple days ago a law suit was opened against Google. Many users have recently discovered that despite turning their location settings off, Google is still tracking their location. I hope that Google would have the decency to keep users’ photographs private, but it is hard to tell with their deceptive past.

  9. I love the concept but I cannot not see this becoming something used by everyone, at least not anytime soon. There will be those that are interested in new tech that will want to try the product out. But most people will not feel the need to find a new camera that can take candid pictures. It is just an extra item. It is not a requirement for living. But, it doesn’t seem creepy. Another surprising thing is that it is not very expensive. It is only $249. From the review in the article we see that the pictures were not very clear. In this age, everyone uses the camera in their cellphones. Cellphones have the best cameras built into them. The Google Clips needs to be something a lot more than what it is right now if it wants to compete with the cameras of the modern world.

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