Have you ever wanted to take photographs like Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus or Martin Schoeller? Don't have time to put in all that pesky hard work to learn masterful control of lighting and post-processing? Soon, you may be able to have images just like theirs! Well, sort of. Researchers at MIT, in conjunction with Adobe, have developed an algorithm that mimics styles of iconic photographers transforming flat, lifeless photos into masterful imitations of art. No word yet on if there will be "taste" sliders or "restraint" clipping warnings.
All sarcasm aside, the technology is actually pretty interesting, and the Schoeller one is surprisingly decent (it even looks like they've added the right catchlights). The scientists have gone drastically beyond global adjustments, analyzing the characteristics of specific parts of the face and focusing on making the small scale (the pores and hair) look right.
Although in the early stages, it's not farfetched to think of this kind of technology as having a huge impact on the photographic community. If one is able to demystify someone's visual style and reproduce it rather effectively, what happens then? A global legion of copy cats? Imagine Avedon's style as easy as a push of a button and as common as Instagram. Then again, will the disparity between 'mediocre' and 'great' widen, causing the upper echelon to push photography into something completely new? What do you think?