Samsung Zoom with Galaxy AI to be unveiled this month

How AI is changing your phone camera

Experience the incredible zoom capabilities of the Galaxy S2 Ultra, featuring enhanced Zoom with Galaxy AI technology.

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Samsung Galaxy phones have long been praised for long-distance photography, with zoom magnification far surpassing most competitors. In February 2023, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s ‘Space Zoom’ shocked the smartphone market, with 100x zoom magnification. This month, the smartphone manufacturer aims to take this one step further with ‘Zoom with Galaxy AI‘.

What is Zoom with Galaxy AI?

The new feature will undoubtedly use the same or similar technologies as popular AI imaging models such as Midjourney, DALL-E 3 (Stylized DALL·E 3), and Runway. However, instead of generating an AI image from a text prompt, we’d expect it to use machine learning to enhance details within photos genuinely captured by the smartphone camera in the traditional sense. This doesn’t mean that pre-selected images would be overlayed on your photography, and it also doesn’t mean that photography would become obsolete. Instead, if the AI model recognizes what it is ‘looking at’ using computer vision, a frontier now largely solved by GPT-4V, it can reconstruct what that detail would look like if you could zoom further, turning a number of pixels into a higher number of pixels, with greater detail and sharpness than ever before possible.

This is, of course, speculation. The full extent of its capabilities, and how it executes them, are set to be revealed on Wednesday, January 17th, 2023.

Samsung is set to debut the Galaxy S24 series of smartphones at the Galaxy Unpacked event this month. Scheduled for January 17th at 10 am PT in San Jose, California, the reveal is expected to include new hardware as well as a new software feature called Zoom with Galaxy AI.

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Does Samsung use AI enhancement in smartphone cameras?

Offering up to 100x zoom, you might think that the Galaxy S23 Ultra would satisfy the need for long-range photography. Already a technological feat, Samsung’s “Space Zoom” promised to allow users to take clear and high-quality images of the moon with their smartphone camera. The sharpness of these photos was so impressive that many users developed a theory that the detail enhancement engine was not simply sharpening their images, but adding details of the moon with computational photography techniques like multi-frame composition and super-resolution. Despite this, the South Korean mobile manufacturer assures that it “does not apply” image overlaying to photos of the moon. This is a good thing, of course, because otherwise users aren’t truly taking their own photos; They would be limited to whatever image Samsung already chose for them.

Other users have speculated that it is not a ham-fisted attempt to insert a ‘pre-baked’ image into their photos, but a specific AI model that uses machine learning, trained on a set of moon images, to reconstruct what craters look like when presented with a blur on the surface of the moon. This isn’t image overlaying, but it still isn’t a faithful depiction of what the moon looks like. Still, for phone photography and not scientific records, it’s fit for purpose.

Steve is the AI Content Writer for PC Guide, writing about all things artificial intelligence. He currently leads the AI reviews on the website.