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CTO Abhay Parasnis is an expert at teaching Adobe’s classic programs new tricks

For updating Adobe’s classic programs and creating new ones altogether, CTO Abhay Parasnis is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business of 2020.

CTO Abhay Parasnis is an expert at teaching Adobe’s classic programs new tricks
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As Adobe’s CTO, Abhay Parasnis charts the future of the company’s signature tools, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat—some of which are older than many of the millions of people who depend on them. This involves applying ever more sophisticated AI to new challenges, as in creating a video version of Photoshop’s crowd-pleasing Content-Aware Fill feature, which can perform feats such as erasing people from an image. “We spent five years saying, ‘How can we replicate that magic but in real time, on moving frames?’ ” Parasnis explains. The answer began as a technology experiment called Project Cloak and wound up as a new feature in the After Effects postproduction software, in 2019. Along with keeping Adobe’s mainstays vital, Parasnis is responsible for taking the company into entirely new creative territory via products such as Aero, an authoring platform for augmented reality content that shipped last year. In early 2020, as Adobe became the second-largest software company by market cap after Microsoft, Adobe recognized Parasnis’s vital role by giving him more responsibilities and an additional title: executive VP of strategy and growth.

About the author

Harry McCracken is the technology editor for Fast Company, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World.

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