Google is using artificial intelligence (AI) to further reduce the size of image files. It has been giving millions of picture fragments to a neural network in order for those pieces to be further compressed if possible. Google’s system works by giving the network individual 32 x 32 pixel fragments and it has so far worked with 6 million randomly selected images.
The AI system is reliably able to compress images more than JPEG on regular tests, which could be especially useful when storage space must be heavily optimized, such as in smartphones. Google could also use the technology for its free image storage service to reduce the load on its systems.
Neural networks still aren’t perfect at retaining image quality during compression, so Google must further develop the AI before it’ll be used.