The ability of artificial intelligence to generate false visual effects is still not knowledge that is widespread, but the new site – ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com – offers quick and persuasive education. Philip Wanga, software engineer at Uber, is the creator of this site whose creation was used by research published last year by Nvidia to create an endless series of fake portraits.
The algorithm behind this project is trained on a large set of real-image data, and then uses a type of neural network known as the Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to produce new cases. “Every time you refresh the site, the network will generate a new face image from scratch,” Wang wrote on Facebook. Wang said in a statement for the Motherboard: “Most people do not understand how much AI will be good in generating images in the future.”
The basic AI framework that runs the site was originally designed by a researcher named Ian Goodfellow. Nvidia’s approach to the algorithm called StyleGAN was recently opened and proved incredibly flexible. Although this version of the model is trained to generate human faces, it can in theory imitate any source. Researchers are already experimenting with other things, including anime characters, fonts and graffiti.
The power of algorithms such as StyleGAN raises many questions. On the one hand, there is obvious creative use for this technology. Such programs can create endless virtual worlds, and they already lead to new types of artwork. Also, these and similar technologies can also help designers and illustrators, which is the creator of the world’s first digital model Shud, which we wrote about earlier and explained.
The StyleGAN anime face interpolations are solid:
– https://t.co/JtzWaQ1rLT- https://t.co/dl5AqXYqlc- https://t.co/FaldMdAbyQ pic.twitter.com/7T7hoCDXMg
– gwern (@gwern) February 12, 2019
However, technology also has defects. As we have seen in the deepfake discussions (which uses the GAN to set people’s faces to specific videos, often in order to create pornography without consent), the ability to manipulate and generate realistic images will have a huge impact on how modern societies think about evidence and trust. Such software can also be extremely useful for creating political propaganda and influential campaigns. In other words, ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com is just a decent introduction to this new technology. A rough awakening comes later.