Canon Photo Culling app uses AI to look for your best shots

Humanity as a whole has taken a lot of photos in the past years, whether using our handy smartphones or using dedicated standalone cameras. Sometimes, we also press the shutter button repeatedly, worried we might miss a fleeting moment, and end up with multiple shots of the same thing. Going through dozens if not hundreds of photos to clear up space can be a very daunting prospect, especially if doing it one by one. Thankfully, Canon is launching a new Photo Culling app that utilizes AI to automate that process.

This is admittedly a case where AI and machine learning are best at. Throw neural networks hundreds of data to learn from and watch try to make a judgment based on some criteria. What better data set, then, than the dozens of photos in our smartphone photo galleries waiting to be trimmed down to the best ones.

That's the promise that Canon is making with Computer Vision AI Engine called "PHIL", short for Photography Intelligence Learning. The AI goes through photos and scores them based on four criteria: sharpness, noise, emotions, and closed eyes. Depending on which mode is selected, it will either surface the best one from a set or also group similar photos before picking out the best from each group.

The app is also a generic photo management tool, showing how much storage is taken up by the photos and how many photos were deleted. It also has a simpler AI at work on the app's home screen, presenting a dynamic event album based on events or dates through the year. It will then also suggest if there are duplicate photos to be deleted.

Impressive as the feature set may be, the details are less so. The Canon Photo Culling app is currently available only on iOS and while the app itself is free, it requires a subscription to use. That amounts to either $2.99 per month or $14.99 per year for a feature that Google Photos might soon offer for free.