Google teased its new AI-enhanced editing tool at this year's I/O conference. The Magic Editor uses generative AI to do things like expand a composition (as seen above) or rescale a subject in a scene.

In addition to new smart devices, Google teased a new AI-enhanced Magic Editor tool at this year’s annual I/O conference. Though we only got a sneak peek, the results are impressive and prove that an era of advanced image manipulation for the masses isn’t far off, thanks to AI.

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Of course, AI-powered image editing is nothing new for Google. Handy tools like the Magic Eraser, for removing unwanted distractions, and Photo Unblur, for enhancing soft/blurred shots, have been around for several years. And Google has been leveraging AI to help organize and surface images in users’ libraries since 2015.

What can Google’s Magic Editor do?

But the Magic Editor takes AI-enhanced manipulation a leap further. Not only can users select and edit subjects (similar to using a mask in Lightroom/Capture One) but with a few taps of the screen you can easily scale and reposition subjects in the frame.

The image on the left is the original shot, while the image on the left has been manipulated using a beta version of the Magic Editor tool to remove background subjects, rescale and move the subject in the frame, and remove the subject's camera strap.

The demo also shows the tool's ability to expand an image’s composition through generative AI. Of course, the results aren’t perfect.

In the example with the balloons, for instance, the portion of the bench created using generative AI shows a noticeable red tint. Similarly, in the waterfall demo, the area under the subject’s arm shows an obvious repeating pattern in the rocks.

These criticisms aside, the power of this tool to dramatically reshape image editing on the fly can’t be understated. And surely improvements will be made to its capabilities prior to a prime-time launch, which likely won't be until later this year or even 2024.

When can you try Google's Magic Editor?

Want to get your hands on the Magic Editor sooner rather than later? As of writing, it isn’t available to the public. But worry not, Google says it’ll 'give select Pixel phones early access to Magic Editor later this year.' Who exactly will get access and when, we can’t say. So be sure to keep an eye on Google’s blog for additional updates.