These incredibly real fake faces show how algorithms can now mess with us

Recommended for You A radical new neural network design could overcome big challenges in AI Google says it won’t sell face recognition for now—but it will be hard to slow its use Facebook’s new privacy blunder may have exposed your private photos The 6 reasons why Huawei gives the US and its allies security nightmares The record for high-temperature superconductivity has been smashed again Nvidia researchers posted details of the method  to produce completely imaginary fake faces with stunning, almost eerie, realism (here’s the paper)..The researchers, Tero Karras, Samuli Laine, and Timo Aila, came up with a new way of constructing a generative adversarial network, or GAN..GANs employ two dueling neural networks to train a computer to learn the nature of a dataset well enough to generate convincing fakes..When applied to images, this provides a way to generate often highly realistic fakery..The same Nvidia researchers have previously used the technique to create artificial celebrities (read our profile of the inventor of GANs, Ian Goodfellow)..In the most recent work, the researchers took inspiration from a technique known as style transfer to built their GAN in a fundamentally different way..This allowed their algorithm to identify different elements of a face, which the researchers could then control..A video produced by the researchers shows how the approach can also be used to play with, and remix, different elements, like age, race, and gender–or even freckles..The work is a remarkable example of how advances in machine learning are leading to all sorts of new possibilities for fakery..We  wrote about the potentially for video fakery to harm political discourse in a special issue dedicated to politics earlier this year (see “Fake America great again”)..Cut off?.Read unlimited articles today.. More details

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