This New AI-Based Algorithm Created By Microsoft Helps To Restore Old Photos

The researchers from Microsoft AI team has now created a new algorithm based on artificial intelligence that can restore old images that have suffered from severe degradation. The algorithm uses a deep learning approach to restore old photos.

Conventional restorations can be solved via supervised learning, however, the degradation in real pictures is complex. Moreover, the domain gap among synthetic photos and real old images makes the network fail to generalize. We cannot effectively restore old photos through supervised learning, and the new technique developed by the Microsoft Research team can restore old photos efficiently.

The new AI-based algorithm proposes a novel triplet domain translation network. The new technique leverages real images with massive synthetic photo pairs. Particularly, the Microsoft Research team trains two VAEs (variational autoencoders) that help them to respectively transform old images as well as clean pictures into two latent spaces.

Then, the translation among these latent spaces is learned with synthetic paired information. This translation then generalizes well to real images as the domain gap is now closed in this compact latent space. If there are multiple degradations mixed in one old picture, the research team created a global branch with a partial nonlocal block to address this issue. The partial nonlocal block target the structured defects like dust spots on a photo or scratches.

While the local branch targets the unstructured defects in a photo like blurriness and noises. Then, both of these branches are fused in the latent space. This ultimately leads to enhanced capability of restoring old images from various defects. The new technique outperforms state-of-the-art techniques for restoring old photos.

With the new technique, the image quality is enhanced and it works better than the already existing techniques for restoring old images. In terms of visual quality, this method can prove to be very useful. However, Microsoft has not yet made a demo website available to the public for trying the new technology. We expect that the company will soon make it available publicly to try out the new method for restoring old photos.

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