The best A.I.-based photo apps for iOS and Android

The photo filter craze, which erupted around Instagram in 2010, continues unabated to this day. Not nearly as popular, but certainly more intriguing, are filters based on artificial intelligence, which combine machine learning with neural networks to put an entirely different spin the photo filtering concept.

Instead of typical filters, which float on top your image to alter their look, neural networks use object recognition to recreate an image in the manner of a specific work of art or artistic style. Neural networks for photo art essentially interpret images in layers that alter the image’s underlying pixels to impart a specific style. Neural network and deep-learning algorithms reinterpret your snapshot through, for example, a signature artist’s eye, so that A.I. image algorithm apps can make your picture look like it was painted by recognized artists like Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch, and Vincent Van Gogh, or even in the style of a specific painting. Each style is applied differently in response to the unique patterns in the picture. When you choose a style, the app delivers a unique image based on how the neural network responds to your picture’s pixel arrangement.

A.I.-based photo apps, in all their algorithm-based glory, fundamentally alter the structure of your photo or video by responding uniquely to each image based on its content. We found a number of apps that are free to download, though some also offer in-app purchases to remove watermarks and ads or to add other perks. Here are a few of the more famous ones out there.

Prisma

Perhaps the most famous app and the granddaddy of A.I.-based filters is Prisma, a photo editor that transforms your photos into paintings. Using Prisma’s art filters you can make your photo look as if Picasso, Munch, or even Salvador Dali painted it. Prisma now has more than 300 styles in its art filter library. You’ll never get tired of the app because Prisma releases a new art filter every day as well as special styles every so often. After applying art filters, you can further enhance the results with the app’s image enhancement tools. In the photo enhancement mode, you can use a wide range of tools to adjust exposure, sharpness, contrast, and brightness — just like a real photo editor. Prisma’s community lets you share creations and inspiration, follow other users, discover new images, and chat with fellow artists. Premium versions cost $8 per month or $130 per year.

iOS Android

Pikazo

Pikazo describes itself as “a universal art machine that paints any image in the style of any other, producing sometimes-beautiful, sometimes-disturbing, always-surprising artworks.” Just choose any image you like and give it the Pikazo A.I. style — there are hundreds of built-in, high-resolution styles that the app’s A.I.painter uses as inspiration to repaint your picture. The app doesn’t monkey with your original image but simulates the visual cortex to interpret the image in the style you choose. The output is a completely different creation that combines the original with the style. Try your favorite style on several images to see if you like the effect. When you find one you like, enhance it to high resolution. You can use Pikazo to build a portfolio of high-quality artwork that you can share with friends on social media, post to Pikazo’s salon, use in blog posts or presentations, or even order as prints.

iOS

Painnt

Painnt uses its A.I.tech to take your run-of-the-mill images and turn them into beautiful paintings complete with their own color palettes, brush strokes, and customizable HD filters. Painnt is long on variety with a selection of more than 1,000 filters, including classical, comic book, modern, abstract, and mosaics. The app lets you preview and adjust settings for distinctive looking art, and render high-resolution paintings. You can save or share your work with friends and family by email or social networks. Painnt welcomes its artists to a community to display artwork made with the app and to get feedback and inspiration. The free version of the app limits output resolution, displays ads, and adds a watermark, but there’s an in-app subscription option. Subscriptions cost $1 per week, $2 per month, and $10 per year, which allows you to access the full app library, process photos in HD, create custom filters, and hide the watermark.

iOS  Android

Artisto

Artisto works equally well for both photos and videos to generate impressive visual effects, and it’s super easy to accomplish. Just use an existing photo or a video, tap the button with the filter you like, wait while the algorithm works its magic and, hopefully, get the kind of result that you want to hang in a frame on your wall. The app is free, with lite and pro versions costing $1 to $2.

iOS  Android

Lensa

With Lensa, the makers of Prisma focus on selfies to help you perfect your skin and eyes, and bring your visage from the background to the foreground with a Bokeh effect. The app features an automated retouching feature that defines and removes blemishes without you having to manually select anything. It gets rid of under eye shadows, adds contrast, and thickens brows. The Bokeh effect is based on precise portrait segmentation that allows the effect to run on single-camera devices without depth sensors. You can make your portrait more dynamic by setting the background in motion or adding a Petzval lens effect for an interesting swirly Bokeh. Subscriptions cost $5 per month or $30 per year.

iOS

Deep Art Effects

With a little help from A.I., Deep Art Effects helps you transform photos into works of art reminiscent of the great painters Van Gogh, Monet, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Picasso, Raphael, Rembrandt, Dali, and many others. Choose from more than 50 free art styles, filters, and effects. The app operates via machine learning algorithms and neural networks. Image rights always belong to you and your images are not passed through third parties. The only way to share them is via your own social networks. Just upload your photo, choose a style, and in less than a minute, you have your picture. The app features quick, almost real-time image processing, full HD resolution (1080p), more than 40 famous artist filters, adjustable filter intensity, and encrypted data transfer via European servers. You can manage your art collection in the cloud and even buy an ultra HD print version (3840p) without a watermark. The premium version provides full HD, removes watermarks, offers extra styles, and removes ads.

Android

Storyboard

Storyboard, an Android-only app from Google’s technical whiz brains, uses A.I. to transform your videos into comics. It selects, lays out, and stylizes video frames using research tech that runs locally on your device, thus bypassing perceived security issues from many server-based neural network editors. Storyboard takes zero skill; just load your video, and pull down to refresh until you get a layout you like, and then tap to share or save. This app is for the more adventurous users who get that this tech is in beta and still being studied at Google, so your mileage may vary depending on your device. Google seeks your help via feedback to improve the product.

Android

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