Google’s Magic Eraser is a tool in the Google Photos app that lets you remove unwanted people or other objects from photos just by highlighting them and choosing to erase them and replace them with AI-generated imagery that fills the gap with something plausible looking. It originally debuted with the Google Pixel 6 smartphone, but became available for all Pixel devices earlier this year.
Now it looks like Google may plan to introduce an Audio Magic Eraser feature with the Pixel 8 series, which should be available later this year.
Google hasn’t officially announced the new feature yet, but a short promo video leaked by @EZ8622647227573 shows how it would work.
— EZ (@EZ8622647227573) August 11, 2023
Instead of removing visual objects from a photo, Audio Magic Eraser would remove unwanted sounds from a video recording. Users tap a button, the tool identifies sounds in the video, decides which ones are probably noise, and allows you to remove them and save a new version of the video. There also appears to be a slider that helps you determine just how much noise reduction to apply.
Just like Magic Eraser is basically a simplified version of something that folks have been doing with PhotoShop and other image editing tools for years, this Audio Magic Eraser isn’t exactly magic: it’s similar to some of the software I use when editing podcasts, like Izotope RX or Waves Clarity Vx. And we’ve seen companies like NVIDIA leveraging GPU architecture for several years to let gamers reduce background noise while live streaming.
What would be new here is bringing a nearly 1-click solution to background noise reduction to a smartphone.
In my experience, I tend to prefer tools that give you at least a few more knobs and settings to help you choose exactly which sounds are removed when performing this type of background audio reduction, as leaving it completely to an automated process runs the risk of making things sound unnatural. But for most folks, I suspect the ability to cut background noise in a few seconds as a way to make it easier to hear the dialog, music, or other audio in a recording would be a pretty nice bonus feature to have in a smartphone.