Thursday, February 14, 2019

Creating People Who Don't Exist

Have you ever seen this person before?


There's no chance of it because she was just created by a computer.


A new website called "This Person Does Not Exist" uses generative adversarial networks (GANs) to make a new face from scratch, a face that no one has ever seen before. 


Each time you refresh the page on the website, an entirely new face appears. The software outputs a variety of ages, ethnic backgrounds, settings, and lighting scenarios, and the faces are specific, not "average" or generic looking. 

And each one seems relatively consistent and logical, but if you search long enough you'll find problems with ears, jewelry, hair, or glasses.


The creator of the page is Phillip Wang, a software engineer for Uber, who wanted to demonstrate the potential of GANs.

This technology will transform many aspects of computer graphics, such as video games, visual effects, and 3D modeling, and it has more unsettling implications for generating convincing false news, sham celebrities, and fake art.
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5 comments:

Penn Tomassetti said...

I didn't see any explanation about sources for these faces. It looks like the algorithm must be analyzing real faces and selecting what it learns from those faces to create a new one based on that info. Have you read anything that might explain that?

James Gurney said...

Penn, yes, they draw upon huge online datasets of face photos and then go through an iterative process where one network generates faces and another network judges how real they look. This process is described many places online and I've done some posts about it.

Penn Tomassetti said...

James,
Thanks! I should've gone back and reviewed some of your earlier posts, and will definitely now have to do that. I'm glad you keep publishing about this. It is really interesting to me how all the profile pictures of many many different people existing online are what is necessary to help create these. It seems then that one of these generated portraits of a "fake" individual, is in reality either constructed out of a huge number of real individuals, or at least is based on a huge number of individuals as its source material.

Rich said...

Composite sketches anyone?
Not exactly people who don't exist; but found out existing, at a later date.

Composite sketches: Digital Age opening new ways & possibilities.

Timothy Bollenbaugh said...

"iterative process"...James, that seems like a good term for perception itself, always being a composite of experience and raw data. Or as Bix said: "We all see what we expect to see."