If you're familiar with HBO's comedy series "Silicon Valley," then you might know a thing or two about the importance of shrinking file sizes. Google clearly understands the value of file compression as they have developed a new algorithm that takes it to the next level.

Guetzli is an open source JPEG encoder developed by Google Research, and the algorithm it employs can produce JPEGs that are 35 percent smaller while retaining the same level of clarity. To accomplish this, Guetzli trades visual quality for a smaller file size at the quantization stage of image compression.

Uncompressed image (Left), Guetzli's (Right), and libjpeg's (Center). Image credit: Google Research

According to Google, the psychovisual modeling of Guetzli "approximates color perception and visual masking in a more thorough and detailed way than what is achievable" in existing methods. Ultimately, that means these smaller images will look just as good to the average person. In fact, in experiments comparing compressed images, human raters preferred the Guetzli-produced images over those created by libjpeg, even when the latter's images were a larger file size.

Guetzli's files are smaller, yes, but it takes the encoder a bit longer than other compression methods to shrink images. However, we're left with smaller-sized images that don't sacrifice quality, and these compressed images will shrink the time it takes Google to load websites and services, which is a good thing for both internet users and Google.

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