Most mobile photo-editing apps let you touch up photos with a built-in filter to add a nostalgic sepia tone, a touch of contrast or a darkening vignette. But Prisma takes an image, breaks it down and turns it into something new. The end result looks like something created by an artist with a paintbrush on canvas instead of a photo.
With the help of artificial intelligence, the app repaints an original picture from scratch. The trick is that Prisma’s so-called neural networks have been trained to emulate many different art styles and can transform your landscape photos, selfies or even snapshots of your cat into something much more interesting.
The app, which was released in June on iOS and last month on Android, is quickly gaining traction. Prisma has been downloaded more than 15 million times on each platform, according to Prisma Labs, which is based in Moscow. Prisma is becoming trendy purely by word of mouth.
Though the app is already popular, there are several improvements on the way, including the ability to apply the same effects to video clips.