A.I. can now create fake videos of people from a single picture

Researchers advance machine learning to create videos of people from single stills and paintings.

  • Samsung researchers improve AI modeling to quickly create realistic (but fake) videos.
  • The model uses "single-shot learning" to create videos from a single picture.
  • The application of the tech could be in telepresence, video conferencing and gaming.

An AI can now take a single picture of a person's face and animate it convincingly. This can lead to animating paintings and photos but also add to the mistrust of images and deepfakes online.

The new method from researchers at the Samsung AI Center in Moscow incorporates facial landmarks from a source face into the facial data from the target face to animate it. The target face will do anything done by the source face, which can be any talking head.

What is different here from previous technology that has been developed to achieve this is the fact that rather than needing a lot of data (like video) to analyze, this approach called "single-shot learning" needs just one image of a person's face. The video that is generated from that can show the face making a range of expressions and speaking with reasonable credibility.

Samsung.

The animation of the "Mona Lisa" using source videos.

The new tech front loads the process of facial landmark recognition with a large amount of data from a bank of talking head videos. It then trains the model to be very efficient in connecting parts of the target face with the source.

The new AI also uses the Generative Adversarial Network, having two models compete against each other in creating a more "real" result.

Here’s how adversarial learning works:

Where can you use this technology, other than contributing to the epidemic of fake news that is sure to eventually affect personal relationships as much as the national conversations? "Such ability has practical applications for telepresence, including videoconferencing and multi-player games, as well as [the] special effects industry," Samsung said.

You can read the paper from the Samsung AI Center here.

Why a great education means engaging with controversy

Jonathan Zimmerman explains why teachers should invite, not censor, tough classroom debates.

Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
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  • If our teachers avoid controversial questions in the classroom, kids won't get the experience they need to know how to engage with difficult questions and with criticism.
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Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Jordan Engel, reused via Decolonial Media License 0.1
Strange Maps
  • Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
  • This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
  • The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
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It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.

Technology & Innovation
  • SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
  • A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
  • A net-outfitted boat in the Atlantic Ocean successfully caught the reusable fairing, likely saving the company millions of dollars.
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