Artificial Intelligence feeds fears and fantasies. This technology worthy of the best sci-fi scenarios is now a reality. It is also a key technology for innovative companies, in all sectors and fields. Jean-François Goudou, guest speaker at the Digital Tech Conference, has been working (nearly) all his life on that technology. From the basics of deep learning to AI, as we know it today.
Since 2018, Jean-François Goudou is VP Research at Meero. A startup with a staff of 650 three years after its creation, that should rise to 1000 employees before the end of the year. How does it position itself? It deploys artificial intelligence in photo editing for tasks that do not contribute any added value. Creativity is left with those who know.
The(s) secret(s) of Meero
In a few years, Meero experienced an exponential growth. It did not happen by chance and its value proposition is clear: guarantee of a consistent quality of edited photos, in large volumes at a lower cost. The company was able to attract key skills – such as those of Jean-François Goudou, and focus on key technologies – such as AI, within an ongoing improvement strategy.
Meero developed its own tools for automating photo editing, based on several learning models. For instance images of buildings, intended for real estate professionals, will not be processed in the same way as people faces. Still, Meero intends to “make the image the most natural possible, and give a snapshot impression, in a serene framework” notes Jean-François Goudou.
A critical human contribution
Jean-François Goudou and the Meero Company are convinced that tools enhance the existing but do not replace the human touch which is needed all along the process. From the first contact with the photographer who explains his inspiration when he shot the pictures, to the editing phase, as edited photos are carefully controlled by Meero’s Quality Department.
“Our AI takes charge of part of the repetitive tasks performed by photo editors, leaving them with more time to spend on what they know and like to do.” Jean-François Goudou adds: “We have ongoing exchanges with the photographers to show them the results of our solution. We explain also, why AI is not a threat, but rather an assistance.”
AI’s future ?
We all talk a lot about Artificial Intelligence, but it cannot be cut of its context. Visual and audiovisual creation tools are much more affordable now than they were a few years ago – just like the GauGAN – Nvidia project. AI is playing an increasing role, but there is the flip side of the coin: “it will become increasingly difficult for the human eye to see the difference between true and false. There is also an ethical issue“. For Jean-François Goudou: ” It is a powerful tool, that cannot do anything but what it is asked to do. Right from start, it is governed by rules and fed from databases. Consequently, there is a full control over the result.” Considering the latest technology developments, one may wonder what creativity is about. A vast question indeed that will be debated on December 6, 2019.
Can AI become more creative than man? That is the question! A complex one indeed. For Jean-François Goudou: “It is a powerful tool, that cannot do anything but what it is asked to do. Right from start, it follows rules and feeds on databases. Consequently, there is a full control over the result.” Considering the latest technology developments, one may wonder what creativity is about. A vast question indeed that will be debated on December 6, 2019!