This Website Creates Fake People

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Artificial intelligence is taking over the world.

And the promises are pretty infinite.

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Image by Kevin Ku

From automating production of industrial and consumer goods to its vast impacts on photo and video editing, AI won’t leave any area of technology untouched.

But one job people may not have ever imagined that AI would take over could be staring us in the face right this very moment.

That’s because the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com is able to generate a new person’s face with every refresh. Stock photography models could find themselves out of a job quite soon if this tech scales and becomes more commonplace. Not only can these algorithms create fake people but they can also change the weather in existing photographs and even make their own scenes up as well. The horizon for this kind of thing is pretty limitless and it's only getting better each year.

For now, let’s focus on how weird it is that this website can create fake faces on the fly.

This isn’t the first article we’ve published discussing similar AI technologies. Using elements of millions upon millions of faces, combined with some machine learning, the engine that powers ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com assembles these elements into novel configurations that follow certain rules so that each result looks natural and real. Refreshing the website results in a new result each time and the fact that none of these people are real just makes it that extra touch of creepy.

Speaking with The Verge, Philip Wang, the person behind the website and an engineer at Uber, said of the site, “Each time you refresh the site, the network will generate a new facial image from scratch…Most people do not understand how good AIs will be at synthesizing images in the future.”

As Wang points out, not only will AI be ubiquitous in the future but also it will radically change videography and photography.

If you’d like to read our previous articles about AI and photography, you can do that here.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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