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– Incredible Concept
– Does well with some inanimate objects and human figures


– Pictures with faces or fingers in them only useful for brochures distributed on Halloween or at Burning Man

An incredible concept not totally ready for prime time

I wanted synthesis to work. Oh god did I want Synthesis to work. The promise of being able to create my own stock photos is hard to resist. Sure, you can use tools like Unsplash, with their royalty free stock photos (we often do), but the variety is mid and the common images are often overused. So when I heard about Synthesis, I was very excited to put it to the test. Unfortunately the results often fall flat. As you’ll see in my example images below, image algorithms still don’t consistently nail faces, hands, or ordinary objects. The result is a nightmarish mix of fever-dream boogeyman stills.  To be fair, the app works acceptably well for some inanimate objects and human silhouettes. I was pleasantly surprised to see the app identify the shape of an anatomical heart and re-represent it as the heart icon. While the app doesn’t universally work well for now,  I’m very much looking forward to v2. At the current rate of development, I expect Dall-E and Midjourney will be vastly improved in 12-18 months and could imagine that the majority of images from Synthesis might actually be publishable at that point. Looking forward to seeing the tool progress into v2 and updating this review with positive results.

For our test, we loaded photos from this list of 2018’s most popular stock photos to test Synthesis results. Images are republished under copyright fair use. Viewer discretion advised.

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