The photographic ‘faceswap’ is by far the most surreal byproduct of evolving digital photographic technology and its usefulness has yet to be proven. Once the go to tool for the likes of National Enquirer and Daily Sport to reproduce fake celebrity nudes its prominence on apps like SnapChat and MSQRD has pushed the weird AI tech mainstream. Now Dreambit hopes to achieve a useful tool rather than photographs that’ll confuse historians decades from now.
Imagine sitting in a hairdressers and being asked by your stylist your preferred cut, but instead of having to think on your seat, you’re presented with different options on the mirror in front of you. Curly hair, a different colour, short or long, voila! The practical implications, although not immediately considered because of faceswapping’s current usage has already been conceived in futuristic sci-fi movies.
Dreambit is the brainchild of University of Washington assistant professor of computer science and engineering, Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman who uses the appropriation of massive and unrestricted portrait collections online to build software and investigate the future of facial recognition.
As convincing as the photographs can be, and we’d guesstimate a 50% hit rate on good to excellent end product, it’ll be hard to convince people that a Victorian lady showed such a beautiful set of teeth as in the Kate Middleton example. In a previous article we covered how college yearbooks showed a change in smiles over the decades.
In another typical example we are shown how Dreambit can show how a child’s face will look as it grows. A familiar feature usually seen in fun photo booths and police photographs released of missing children.
Finally, and who can blame Ira for having some fun with this, we can see how absurd Donald’s hairpiece really is by replacing it with real blonde hair:
To learn more or gain access to Dreambit in its Beta state you can sign up over on the website. For a tl;dr explanation without any theory or thinking all you really need is the video below.