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Adobe is launching a new AI tool in Photoshop in beta form. The “Generative Fill” option promises to have a huge impact on what is possible with images, from mundane corrections to drastic changes.

The Photoshop tool is based on Adobe’s AI image generator Firefly, but will now be controllable via a toolbar within Photoshop itself. Those familiar with making selections within PS images can use plain language to specify what is to be created within the specified area. In a tutorial video, Photoshop explains that multiple suggestions can appear.

Specific instructions (or not even)

As with many generative AI tools, Generative Fill benefits from specific instructions. Photoshop’s own example of its use cases gives the tool quite a bit of direction. For example, they suggest placing a “car from the 1950s” in a photo with only salt flats and a blue sky above them. The result is impressive (see image at the top of this article), but it does raise the question: what if I don’t want a generic vintage car, but of a specific make? This is where we reach the limits of Photoshop’s latest addition: the AI model is trained only on copyright-free content.

Those who give no instructions other than the selection of an area outside the original image’s border can transform a square photo into an ultrawide shot, to name one example. In any case, it seems Adobe is presenting the AI application as a convenient extension of its existing toolkit. Pretty handy, too, since they would otherwise be fanning the flames of consternation surrounding the use of AI image generators.

Fake photos

It is undeniable that the images generated from Generative Fill are of an artificial nature, even though drastically modifying photos is nothing new in itself. However, we may ask the question: what are the dangers of democratizing such AI generators? Earlier this week, a fake photo of a smoking Pentagon building appeared to have led to a stock market price drop.

Speaking to The Guardian, director of digital media & strategy at Adobe Asia-Pacific Chandra Sinnathamby revealed that Adobe has sought to set a standard to denote AI modifications on an image. There are supposedly around 1,000 members of this “content authenticity initiative.” Whether this is enough to prevent problems continuing to arise as a result of AI fakery, time will tell.

Also read: Adobe adds generative AI to its Creative Cloud platform