Phone AI Can Suggest Pics to Delete

John Lister's picture

Canon has launched an app that automatically picks out poor quality photos that you've taken, ready for deletion. Sadly for those who remember physical prints, it doesn't add a quality control sticker to the image.

The Photo Culling app is based on the fact that, unlike with prints, there's no real cost to a user taking hundreds of digital shots except for eating up storage space. That can be an issue given modern smartphones often have very high resolution cameras and in turn large file sizes. (Source:

The idea of the app, which is currently only available on iPhone, is for software to go through the recent shots and pick out which are worth keeping and which can be ditched, rather than the user spending time on the task. However, the app doesn't delete any shots without the user's confirmation, so they will still have to review the results.

Smiles Earn Extra Points

The app uses what Canon describes as artificial intelligence, rating photos on five criteria:

  • Is it similar to other photos (eg the user took a batch of shots in the hope of at least one working out well) and if so, does it compare well to them?
  • Does the photo have a lot of noise (a grainy effect often caused digitally by not capturing enough light for the settings)?
  • Is the picture sharp?
  • Are the subjects in the picture smiling?
  • Do the subjects in the picture have closed or open eyes?

Monthly Or Annual Fee

The user can decide which of these factors are most important in deciding how to rate each shot and thus which are recommended for deletion or keeping. (Source:

One big factor that's likely to limit the app's success is that it isn't available to buy. Instead there's an ongoing fee of $2.99 a month or $14.99 a year following a three-day free trial. That seems off, though if the tool gets good reviews, Canon could make a business deal to have the service bundled with a specific manufacturer's new phones.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you take more shots with a phone camera because you know you can delete them easily? Do you spend much time going through shots to pick out which to keep? Would you trust software to do a decent shot of picking out good and bad ones?

| Tags:
Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (4 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

The app sounds interesting but there is no way that I would agree to pay $2.99 a month to be told a photo needs to be deleted because it doesn't meet certain criteria. A one-time fee of $2.99 however might make it agreeable. I have 512GB of storage on my phone, so unless I'm taking hundreds of photos daily, I don't see this being useful to be honest. I think this might be the case for most users, especially younger generation who understand smartphone tech better than older users.