“Our virtual photographer ‘travelled’ ~40,000 panoramas in areas like the Alps, Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada, Big Sur in California and Yellowstone National Park,” hunting for the best compositions, writes Hui Fang of the Google Research team.
Per PetaPixel, “Once it finds a nice-looking photo, it uses post-processing techniques to improve the look of the shot like photographers do in Photoshop or Lightroom. Edits include cropping, tweaking saturation, applying HDR effects, adding dramatic lighting with ‘content-aware brightness adjustments.’”
Potentially interesting sidenote: In 2013, before Google Photos became a standalone product, Google+ was backing up & applying semantic Auto Enhance to more than half a billion photos per day. The process mimicked the edits a skilled human would apply (e.g. treating skin differently from skies, sharpening & brightening). This all happened automatically, so almost no one noticed, and when we turned it off, almost no one cared (cf. bad wine). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯