Face2Face Shows Remarkable, Disturbing Promise

The phrases "the camera never lies" and "a picture is worth a thousand words" may have a new significance after a look at the video below. I think most of us are aware that we live in a time where the veracity of images and even videos that we are shown can be in doubt.

Indeed the phrase "movie magic" often refers to using tricks to allow us to suspend disbelief that "a man can fly" or that we really are looking at something filmed in space.

It has been very difficult to convincingly manipulate human bodies, and faces in particular. We know intimately what a human face should like, and are keenly aware if something looks "not quite right" - think of the Polar Express movie from a few years ago, with it's slightly creepy, doll-like looking characters.

Now look at the video below, where a new technology called Face2Face allows some astonishingly realistic real-time facial manipulation - and bear in mind this is still under development, so it will only get better.

That is actually rather disturbing as to what someone with bad intentions could do.
The short version: take a YouTube video of someone speaking like, say, George W. Bush. Use a standard RGB webcam to capture a video of someone else emoting and saying something entirely different. Throw both videos into the Face2Face system and, bam, you’ve now got a relatively believable video of George W. Bush’s face — now almost entirely synthesized — doing whatever the actor in the second video wanted the target’s face to do.

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