My Experience with Google Pixel’s Magic Editor

Introduction Of Google

Artificial intelligence is the tech trend of the year, making its way into our smartphones, laptops, and various creative tools. One of the prominent AI features in recent smartphones is AI-powered photo editing. I’ve been experimenting with Google’s AI in Google Photos, and although I don’t want to contribute to the widespread fear of AI as a looming threat to humanity, my experiences have often been genuinely terrifying. Here, I present a tour of the nightmarish creations spawned by Google’s seemingly unhinged AI.


What’s So Bad?

I’ve been playing around with the Magic Editor — the generative AI feature inside Google Photos — on the new Google Pixel 8a. This tool is remarkably advanced, capable of altering the sky, water, and landscape in your images, adding a portrait effect, removing unwanted objects, or even rearranging elements to reimagine the scene. One of the generative AI filters you can use is called Stylized. If you haven’t tried this before, it allows the AI’s creativity to run wild. The results are often very unusual, to say the least.

In many cases, the Stylized filter gives your photo an abstract style or makes it look like a classic watercolor or oil painting. But there are other times when it goes completely off the rails, especially when it encounters living creatures. Google’s AI doesn’t really “get” animals. It recognizes something is in the photo but seems less concerned about realism and context, focusing instead on creating entities straight out of our nightmares.

A Glimpse into the AI’s Darker Creations

Sheep and Lamb Transformed

A relatively normal photo of a sheep and her lamb becomes a scene fit for a horror movie after the AI gets to work. The once-adorable creatures now sport elongated jaws that would be more at home in a Silent Hill game, where I’d likely run in terror as these horrific-looking animals charged at me.

Swans in a Hellscape

In another instance, a serene scene featuring swans enjoying their time on the water is turned into a hellscape. The swans appear frozen on a lake of charred moss, with others seemingly sprouting from the surface in the background. The transformation gives the image a nuclear-holocaust-memorial vibe, starkly contrasting the original.

The Squirrel from a Fevered Mind

Google’s AI also seems to have a deep distrust of squirrels. A photo of a cute squirrel becomes something out of a nightmare, with one short forearm and one unnaturally long forearm. The darkest, most lifeless black eye stares back at you, reminiscent of the malevolent shark’s eyes from Jaws.

To further prove the AI’s distaste for squirrels, it similarly transformed Digital Trends’ Mobile Editor Joe Maring’s photo of a squirrel. The once-cute creature was given evil eyes, bat-like ears, and fearsome paws, dispelling any notion of it being a cheeky little animal.

Giraffe of Your Nightmares

The AI seems particularly obsessed with eyes, often making them look pure evil or removing them entirely. One of its most terrifying creations is a multi-legged giraffe with no eyes. If I had seen such a creature stalking the safari park during my visit, I would have definitely taken a photo — and then prayed never to encounter it again.


While AI photo editing tools like Google’s Magic Editor are incredibly sophisticated and can produce stunning results, they sometimes create images that are less picturesque and more nightmarish. The surreal and often terrifying outcomes when AI “interprets” animals show that while AI can enhance creativity, it can also venture into the uncanny and the disturbing. Whether these AI-generated nightmares are amusing or unsettling, they certainly remind us of the unpredictable nature of emerging technologies.


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