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HomeInternetBusinessDeepfakes: Microsoft Creates Hyperrealistic "Talking Faces" From Still Images!

Deepfakes: Microsoft Creates Hyperrealistic "Talking Faces" from Still Images!

Microsoft Research is shaking up the world of artificial intelligence with its new experimental VASA-1. It's an AI that can turn a static image of a face – even a drawing – into a realistic talking video, in real time! VASA-1 creates expressions and head movements that are perfectly synchronized with an existing audio file, be it speech or singing. On the project page there are many examples, so well made that they could fool even an observant viewer.

Although on careful observation the movements ofn lips and head in the examples may seem a little robotic and out of sync, the potential for misuse of the technology is clear. With VASA-1 deepfakes could be created easily and quickly real people. Microsoft researchers recognize this risk and currently do not intend to publish “online , API, commercial product, additional implementation details or any related service” until they are satisfied that their technology “will be used responsibly and in accordance with regulations.” It was not said, however, if they plan to implement specific restrictions to prevent malicious use, such as the creation of deepfake porn or fake news.

Despite the concerns, the researchers believe that VASA-1 has enormous potential for positive applications. It can help equal access to education, improve communication for people with disabilities, perhaps giving them an avatar that speaks for them. Additionally, it could provide companionship and therapeutic support to people who need it, paving the way for programs with AI characters that users can chat with.

According to the research paper published with the announcement, VASA-1 was trained on the VoxCeleb2 dataset, which contains "over 1 million phrases from 6.112 celebrities" extracted from YouTube videos. Although the tool was trained on real faces, it also works on artistic photos, such as the Mona Lisa. The researchers, in a humorous mood, paired it with a recording of Anne Hathaway's viral rendition of Lil Wayne's song Paparazzi. The result is delightful and worth seeing, even if you question the utility of such technology.

Marizas Dimitris
Marizas Dimitris
A dedicated fan of Samsung mobile phones, Dimitris has developed a special relationship with the company's products, appreciating the design, performance and innovation they offer. Writing and reading tech news from around the world.


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