Stanford University have unveiled a new technique whereby mainstream media news outlets can alter the facial expressions during a supposed ‘live’ interview with a politician, in order to fool the masses.
Though the tone of the video [below] is decidedly calm and monotone, the implications of what the researchers are saying is disturbing.
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It is not clear whether these techniques are already being used, or will be in the future. Either way, it should be considered an urgent wake-up call to anyone who watches the mainstream news … welcome to the world of facial manipulation.
As described in an article from Stanford entitled: “Face2Face: Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment of RGB Videos, researchers pick a variety of world leaders such as Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush, and then using an actor they make their mouths move to say whatever they like in real-time:
We present a novel approach for real-time facial reenactment of a monocular target video sequence (e.g., Youtube video). The source sequence is also a monocular video stream, captured live with a commodity webcam. Our goal is to animate the facial expressions of the target video by a source actor and re-render the manipulated output video in a photo-realistic fashion.
To this end, we first address the under-constrained problem of facial identity recovery from monocular video by non-rigid model-based bundling. At run time, we track facial expressions of both source and target video using a dense photometric consistency measure. Reenactment is then achieved by fast and efficient deformation transfer between source and target.
The mouth interior that best matches the re-targeted expression is retrieved from the target sequence and warped to produce an accurate fit. Finally, we convincingly re-render the synthesized target face on top of the corresponding video stream such that it seamlessly blends with the real-world illumination. We demonstrate our method in a live setup, where Youtube videos are reenacted in real time.
Watch the video below and tell us what you think: harmless fun or something more sinister?
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