That’s right. In the world.
Version 100 of our image-editing AI is driving our company to new heights. Integrated into our Specialist Assisted Workflow (S.A.W.™), Version 100 is allowing us to achieve infinite scalability, record efficiency, unparalleled service levels for our customers, and a better work experience for our staff.
But to appreciate how good Version 100 is, it is important to first understand what role Artificial Intelligence plays in our creative operations and how Version 100 differs from our previous versions of the technology.
The Road to Version 100
As you may remember from our post How Pixelz is Using AI to Automate Retouching, our AI bots are responsible for creating layer masks for the images that pass through our “New Layer Mask” step in our S.A.W.™ system.
New Layer Mask is essentially a gateway to Pixelz production: 60% to 70% of all images at Pixelz pass through New Layer Mask before moving on to steps like Retouch Footwear, Color Matching, Retouch Model, or any of our other 50 S.A.W.™ steps.
Point being, any improvement that we make at the New Layer Mask step has big implications for how efficient our S.A.W.™ system can be overall and the service level and quality we can offer our customers.
And that is what makes the success of Version 100 so critical and exciting: it makes us more efficient at the most critical point in our workflow, and that has a big impact on the service level we can offer our customers.
How Our AI Technology Works
In previous versions of our AI technology, every image was first edited by an AI bot and then sent to a human retoucher. If the AI did a good job making the layer mask, the human retoucher would only need to spend a few seconds making small corrections before sending the image to the next step in S.A.W.™. For images that were too hard for the AI, a human retoucher would need to delete the AI’s work completely and start the image over again (resulting in no efficiency gains on the image).
Though not perfect, this was a big first step in achieving automation: while a human was still required for all images, a majority of the work on a majority of the images was done by an AI bot, only requiring a human retoucher to quickly fix small mistakes. In terms of efficiency, this was a big improvement over doing every image from scratch.
But then, in March 2019, we took a game-changing next step, integrating an improved version of the AI technology (Version 100) with S.A.W.™ that pushed Pixelz beyond the cutting-edge of AI technology.
What Makes Version 100 So Special
As our AI expert and member of our Research and Development team Sébastien Eskenazi explains, upon releasing Version 100, we quickly realized that it wasn’t just the best AI we had ever developed at Pixelz, it was (and is) the best image-editing AI technology in the world.
“This year at a large AI computer vision conference [Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition], ideas and approaches to developing this type of AI technology were published as cutting-edge that were very similar to ideas we had already worked through at Pixelz,” explains Eskenazi, “which indicated to us that we are pretty well ahead of the field and the technologies we are developing are cutting-edge if not beyond the state of the art. To see the impact it has had on efficiency in S.A.W.™ on top of that really confirms just how good the technology is that we developed.”
What makes Version 100 so powerful? It is the fact that the technology is so good at making layer masks. So good, in fact, that, as of today, 25-30% of images completely skip a human retoucher at the New Layer Mask step. On those images, the AI takes care of the images without any assistance from a human.
And the other 70-75%? The vast majority of those images only need a few quick fixes before they are ready to be sent to the next step in S.A.W.™.
This is ground-breaking. It is bleeding-edge. Whatever tech-superlative you prefer, it applies here.
And it is having an impact on nearly every area of our business.
Greater Efficiency in Our Image Processing
We began investing in research and development fro AI years ago because we believed AI would help us deliver images faster, with higher quality, and more consistency than any other image-editing platform had ever achieved.
And now, years down the road, our AI is delivering on that promise.
With the rollout of Version 100, we are seeing the fruits of our big investment in R&D in the efficiency of our creative operations and the experience of our customers. As seen in Figure 1, more and more images are skipping human retouchers altogether and instead going straight from the AI bots to the next steps in S.A.W.™.
Figure 1: The number of Images that Bypass a Human Completely by Month
Images bypassing human retouchers means more and more images require less and less time to process at the most critical step in our assembly line potentially causing the biggest bottleneck. And the result is big improvements in production efficiency overall. You can see in the chart below a significant decrease in image-processing time as a result our AI handled more images without the help of a human retoucher.
Because AI is now handling such a substantial percentage of our total images, we are now able to deliver images to customers faster with far greater and more consistent quality than ever before. It has always been the integration of highly-skilled retouchers, world-class software, and AI that has allowed us to provide our customers with an unparalleled service level.
And this has never been more true than with Version 100.
Fast Turnaround Times, Consistent Quality, And Unparalleled Service Levels for Our Customers
How do you offer customers the ability to upload thousands or tens-of-thousands of images at a time while also achieving consistent quality across all those images AND offer same-day delivery?
You either hire a hell of a lot of talented retouchers or you develop the most advanced image-editing AI in the world.
Or, in Pixelz case, you do both.
The beauty of our AI technology is that it is integrated with our human retouchers. It's by offering our customers access to 800 highly-skilled retouchers AND the scalability, consistency, and turnaround times that come with our advanced AI that allow us to deliver the highest-quality service level in our industry.
By offering our customers access to 800 highly-skilled retouchers AND the scalability, consistency, and turnaround times that come with our advanced AI that allow us to deliver the highest-quality service level in our industry
We don’t usually share these numbers (hey, we’re humble), but here is a peek inside the experience of a Pixelz customer: our customers enjoy a 99% on-time delivery rate with us and our customers reject the images they receive from us at a rate of less than .5%.
And we have provided that level of service for over 30 million images.
That level of service is only possible if your creative operations are operating at an industry leading level. And we are proud to be doing exactly that.
Better Work-Life for Pixelz Staff
When new technology improves the function of your business, the experience of your customers, AND the life of your staff, it is a beautiful thing.
And that is exactly what Version 100 has helped us achieve.
Version 100 automates some of the boring, repetitive, lower-paying work in S.A.W.™. Rather than hiring additional retouchers to do this work, automating it has allowed us to up-skill our current staff, re-assigning them to more complex retouching work that is higher-paying. This has provided an important boost to our staff who have had the chance to develop more retouching skills, increase their salary, and spend their day on more engaging more.
Pixelz proudly upholds an impact-sourcing mindset and to have the opportunity to develop a technology that helps improve the work-life of those whose hard work make Pixelz possible.
Interested in giving some of this incredible technology a try? We are currently offering 10 free images so you can try our service for free.