Google Photos is rolling out a set of new features today that will leverage AI technologies to better organize and categorize photos for you. With the addition of something called Photo Stacks, Google will use AI to identify the “best” photo from a group of photos taken together and select it as the top pick of the stack to reduce clutter in your Photos gallery. Another AI-powered feature will identify photos of things like screenshots and documents, categorize them and even allow you to set reminders on those images to find them at a later date — like a screenshot of an event ticket with a QR code you’ll need for entry, for example.
The company says that with Photo Stacks, users will be able to select their own photo as the top pick if they choose or turn off the feature entirely. But if they leave the feature enabled, Google Photos will automatically organize your gallery for you so that multiple photos of the same moment will be hidden behind the top pick of the “stack,” making things tidier. The feature works by using signals that gauge visual similarities in order to group similar photos in your gallery that were captured close together, Google says.
It also notes that a third of most people’s galleries are made up of similar photos, so this will result in a significant reduction in clutter. The stacked photos aren’t removed, of course, just hidden out of sight. To see them, you tap on the stack and then scroll horizontally through the other images.
Another perhaps more interesting feature will use AI to organize certain types of photos, like documents, screenshots, receipts and more.
To work, Google Photos uses signals like OCR to power models that recognize screenshots and documents and then categorize them into albums. In addition, you can also set reminders alongside these images. For example, if you took a screenshot of a concert ticket, you can ask Google Photos to remind you to revisit the screenshot closer to the concert date and time.
You can also choose to automatically archive screenshots and documents after 30 days, keeping them out of your main gallery, but still accessible from their dedicated albums for reference.
Both features will begin to roll out to Google Photos on Android and iOS starting today.