Google has started rolling out new Real Tone filters for its Google Photos app on Android. Announced earlier this month at Google I/O 2022, these Real Tone filters reflect Google’s new approach for improving the representation of different skin tones across Google products.
The new Real Tone filters in Google Photos follow the release last year of an improved auto-enhance feature designed with professional image makers. These Real Tone filters leverage the Monk Skin Tone (MST) scale, a 10-shade scale created in partnership with Harvard professor and sociologist Dr. Ellis Monk to improve skin tone evaluation in machine learning.
“We worked with a diverse range of renowned image makers, like Kennedi Carter and Joshua Kissi, who are celebrated for beautiful and accurate depictions of their subjects, to evaluate, test and build these filters. These new Real Tone filters allow you to choose from a wider assortment of looks and find one that reflects your style,” explained Tulsee Doshi, Head of Product, Responsible AI at Google.
The new Real Tone filters are rolling out first on the Google Photos app for Android, but they’re also coming to the iOS app and the web in the coming weeks. Google is also working to incorporate its MST Scale into its search engine to include a broader range of skin tones in search results. In the coming months, Google also plans to introduce a standardized way to label web images with attributes like skin tone, hair color, and hair texture.