February 17, 2019 3:15 pm

Website uses artificial intelligence to generate realistic human faces from scratch

Every time a visitor to the website, ThisPersonDoesNotExist, reloads the page, an algorithm generates a lifelike human face - one that doesn't actually belong to anyone.

Nividia AI Labs
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A software developer has developed an artificial intelligence-powered website which generates a different face from scratch each time you refresh your browser.

Every time a visitor to the website, ThisPersonDoesNotExist, reloads the page, an algorithm generates a lifelike human face – one that doesn’t actually belong to anyone.

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The technology was developed by Uber software developer and website creator Phillip Wang, who told Digital Trends that the idea for the project began in 2014 during a conversation with Google deep learning research scientist Ian Goodfellow. Goodfellow introduced the concept of a generative adversarial network (GAN) to produce the images.

Wang used the latest GAN, developed by Nividia A.I. Labs and released by the researchers on GitHub, to train his deep learning algorithm to generate faces based on 70,000 high-resolution images.

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“[The faces you see] are entirely original, by our definitions of ‘original,’” Wang told Digital Trends.

“No human being is truly ‘original’ [since] we are all bounded by the data we are exposed to since birth. Even an artist, when asked to draw up anything, would only be able to draw things they have seen in their lifetimes. These neural networks are quickly approaching originality on the same level as we would,” he continued.

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According to a Facebook post Wang shared in an AI and deep learning group, the group also used the program to produce computer-generated images of cars, cats and bedrooms.

The faces generated through the site are uncannily human, which Wang tells Motherboard is a simple representation of how adept AI technology will be at synthesizing images in the future.

Wang runs his website on a rented server with a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) running Nvidia’s software. “I have it dream up a random face every two seconds, and display that to the world in a scalable fashion,” Wang said. “Nothing fancy.”

Check out the website here.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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