Adobe Works to Bring Voice Control to Photo Editing

Say what you want, but I love Siri. It's convenient, and I use it quite a bit. It seems that Adobe is following that path by developing a voice assistant for editing photos.

Now, I'm not necessarily saying that the utility of saying "Hey Siri, set a timer for 20 minutes" is going to directly translate to editing photos, but I'd still be interested in seeing the potential in action. For example, when tethering, the feature could be very useful. Imagine being able to apply a quick adjustment from across the room instead of having to interrupt the shooting process and walk to your workstation. 

Instead of using predetermined commands, the Adobe team is working to make the system recognize natural language, and that could be where the potential lies. Imagine being able to say: "show me all my photos of rivers." Of course, that requires another step of integration in being able to recognize the content of photos, but Adobe has already demonstrated that technology in other areas. For the time being, the best usage may be in mobile devices, where limited screen real estate can make it difficult to edit. Adobe has hinted at this, calling it "a first step towards a robust multimodal voice-based interface that allows Adobe’s creative users to search and edit images in an easy and engaging way using Adobe mobile applications."

What do you think? Would you find voice commands useful?


Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I feel always awkward using Siri.
It's like talking to robot.
Especially when I live abroad or even in my home country, where English is not the native language.
Because on the street, when I say, "Please lower the volume" or "Call XYZ" people look at me totally weirdly and don't know who I'm talking to. In summary, I don't feel confident into talking to a machine.
Also try to explain "make a beauty retouch", I guess that won't really work, neither won't "create luminosity mask" or "create clipping path" ;)

Me: "Hey Lightroom, improve my selfie!"
Lightroom: "Image width cropped to one pixel, applying changes"
Me: "You're still angry because I downloaded that Capture One trial?"

Good for kids to play up to 5 years old.

seems like it takes longer than actually just doing...

For captioning, I could see it be welcome. Also for flagging and ranking.

"Hey Siri, make this not like shit."
*ding ding*
"Let me check that..."
"Ok, I found this on the web for 'make this not look like shit.' Take a look."

Before I even read the Article I saw the tile and thought, voice control during tethering. Then I read the Article and saw you made reference to the same scenario.

Other than in the tethering scenario, I don't think it would be all that helpful. I use Siri most when I want to be hands free, or only one hand, not the normal scenario for photo editing. The things I could think I might want to do, like adjust brush sizes, are probably going to be too coarse for a while.

All that said, it won't turn me off of the products, so why not?

*Disclaimer - I primarily use Capture One for editing, but also have a CC subscription for the other tools.

Tethering is a great potential. I might find voice commands useful- simple commands would be useful for querying maybe (flagged photos, date ranges, lens, camera, etc)... Sometimes I'm snacking or something while looking for photos or analyzing them, so that's why I mention that one. For folks newer to some of the tools and/or the file menus, it might make their lives a bit easier.

Of course, I hardly ever know what I can't live without until I have it or see it though... #TheContainerStore

I doubt it's something professionals are going to rely on. However, I could see this become a thing for everyday people that don't know anything about photo editing and don't want to learn a new app. Need to crop? Just ask, no need to look around the tool. Want to edit a picture you just took while skiing but it's too cold on the lift to remove your gloves? Talk to your phone. In everyday situations, I think voice control can become extremely useful!

I'm fine with that as long as Photoshop doesn't start talking back. If it hears me mutter "geez my photo sucks" it will inevitably reply with "it sure does. Don't bother me with any commands about this image, I'm just a computer not a miracle worker".

I approach retouching an image much like I do painting. I don't think I'd like voice controls over a painting, I'm creating so I suspect that would be the same for retouching. However, I could see this working in some scenarios for others. It probably depends on the type of images you create.

Oh, that is great! I've seen that voice search is a trend - I like it very much. Hope it will develop even more as it is so convenient!