Researchers with Adobe and the University of California-Berkeley have detailed a new AI-powered photo manipulation tool that enables sophisticated photo modification using ‘target images’ and/or crude user sketches. The end result is a realistically altered photo that has been machine-modified (or, in the case of blank images, completely machine generated) to match a target image without extensive 'natural' user editing.

According to a newly published study detailing the technology, this tool involves a ‘generative adversarial neural network’ that works to modify images in near-real time. As one example demonstrated in the video below, drawing a general shape over a photo of a bag causes the software to automatically adjust the bag’s size to match the sketched shape without compromising its realistic nature. The software can also generate images based on crude user 'scribbles' – no artistic talent required.