Real-time Expression Transfer
October 15, 2015 4:50 PM   Subscribe

 
What a very wonderful type of palimpsest.
posted by lilies.lilies at 4:55 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow. Pretty amazing. I hope public (lack of) faith in the reliability of media items will catch up to these advances in technology. I mean, we're how many years out now from highly convincing image manipulation techniques? And yet I think there's still some basic confidence among people that photographs don't lie.
posted by threeants at 5:04 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


It would be amazing to combine this with the photography project posted to MetaFilter just before this.
posted by mbrubeck at 5:04 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, basically, this solves the whole issue of lip-syncing dubbed movies, amongst other things.
posted by ambrosen at 5:05 PM on October 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I mean, what will recorded media be able to tell us anything secure about reality in an era when a convincing video of anyone saying "ISIS rocks" can be produced on the consumer side?
posted by threeants at 5:06 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]




I hope public (lack of) faith in the reliability of media items will catch up to these advances in technology.

I was in a jury selection pool for a couple days earlier this week. We sat in two criminal cases, where we were asked by prosecutors and defenders alike about how we, as potential jurors, would rate one kind of evidence over another. It's interesting how much weight and how many people admitted putting on things they could see, which seems like a problem for video and photographic evidence, particularly, as these advances continue.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:17 PM on October 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wow, that's nuts.
posted by brundlefly at 5:28 PM on October 15, 2015


Video games and Skype calls are going to get so weird
posted by The Whelk at 5:38 PM on October 15, 2015 [5 favorites]




Good news for Keanu Reeves & Andie MacDowel.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:41 PM on October 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


[click] Hello passengers, ahhhm, if you look out the left window, you'll see the Uncanny Valley receding into the distance. Also, I am not really flying this plane. [ding] You'll also notice the "Holy Shit" light is now on, which means you are free to roam the cabin, muttering and wondering if anything is really real. Our Cyberattendants will be coming down the aisle any moment now to serve you a variety of beverages, including synthehol for our business and first-class customers. We know you think you have a choice in airlines, and we thank you for choosing Futureshock Air. Thank you for riding in this airplane with me. [click]
posted by not_on_display at 5:56 PM on October 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


How well does it work across different skin colors or with facial structures that aren't just European? Or, say, with children whose features are sized differently? It seems like it would just be a difficulty of finding the same points on the face, but I don't know how much those vary across people. (The face types they show do look somewhat different, but all of their actors were young white people.)
posted by nat at 6:32 PM on October 15, 2015


Although the targets moved around a bit, they also keep their own expressions fairly static. Perhaps they're not there to fixing the lip-sync of a dubbed movie, but certainly this is a big step along that path.
posted by jimw at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2015


For as cool as this is — and to be clear it's really, really cool — I think it's also pretty horrifying. Even though it was going to be bad, I had steeled myself for Soylent Green. Now I'm going to have to live through The Running Man instead? Not super excited y'all.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:59 PM on October 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Citizen Kane is going to speak from that podium, y'all.
posted by Bistle at 10:14 PM on October 15, 2015


I love that the only two uses they came up with were "real time translation to make the non-native speaker appear to be speaking the native language" (okay, cool) and "uh, one person could wear a suit and then you wouldn't have to!"
posted by one_bean at 10:30 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah they really missed out the obvious "live out your William Gibson fantasy/dystopia" killer app.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:04 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


The classic sci fi trope is emotive masking on video calls...

It's also fun to think of using this in animation: Build your model, and then transfer an actor's facial expressions to the model exactly as the actor performs.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:48 AM on October 16, 2015


Yes! Now map this to my cute elf face in MMOs so certain people can see how hard I'm rolling my eyes to some offhand girl gamer remarks I hear while out-DPSing some scrubs. Woo!
posted by equestrian at 1:08 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


It does solve the problem of painting the alien green, while bringing an entirely new wrinkle to the question of online racism. The question is: by adopting a brown skin tone for the day, am I showing my support for the oppressed minority, or indulging in cynical blackface opportunism for self-aggrandisment? (Note: this is a rhetorical device included for illustrative purposes only, and no correspondence will be entered into on this point.)

There is another use case. People with facial disfigurements, stroke paralysis or similar, find such conditions very isolating. This sort of technology may help, at least to some extent.
posted by Devonian at 3:03 AM on October 16, 2015


Catfishing just got a whole lot creepier/easier.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:25 AM on October 16, 2015


I wonder if there are any legal jurisdictions where one of the parties to a lawsuit could demand that all testimony viewed by a judge or jury be altered to present a flat affect that doesn't express any emotion about what the testifying person is saying.
posted by XMLicious at 3:28 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love how hopelessly naive the video was about potential applications, like "you could use this to pretend you're wearing a business suit but actually you're wearing casual clothes!" instead of "MASSIVE RAMPANT IDENTITY THEFT"
posted by chrominance at 5:58 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


not_on_display: " We know you think you have a choice in airlines"

That's my new catchphrase, and if I did the whole "metafilter: x", I would, but I don't, so I won't.
Holy Shit is right, though.
posted by signal at 6:46 AM on October 16, 2015


Two words: "confession" videos.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:31 AM on October 16, 2015


I wonder how invertible this might be -- like, knowing this was used in some terrible way (fake confessions, etc.), do people have identifiable movements which could be databased and searched for? I'm sure an analysis could be made of a video which shows that person X doesn't normally raise their brow this much and never smirks (John never has two cups at home...), and then chooses a list of probable actors. That's the kind of big data response I'm expecting for with this.
posted by klausman at 8:03 AM on October 16, 2015


Film production will become like software engineering, where they fix everything after it's already been released.

This makes me think of a bit in Vernor Vinge's sci-fi novel A Fire Upon the Deep, where a sort of real-world Agent Smith super computer virus is infecting and destroying all of civilization. The crew of one space ship is communicating with another and they notice some innocuous flaw in the video from the other ship—like the guy's rank insignia is incorrect or something like that—and they realize that everyone on the other ship is already dead (*Dramatic Chipmunk music*) and they're talking to a simulation based on archived messages.
posted by XMLicious at 8:05 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I suppose this would be great for interactive historical exhibits where you get to have a conversation with "Abraham Lincoln."
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:19 AM on October 16, 2015


I wonder if there are any legal jurisdictions where one of the parties to a lawsuit could demand that all testimony viewed by a judge or jury be altered to present a flat affect that doesn't express any emotion about what the testifying person is saying.

Wouldn't that also wipe out any tells that might relate to dishonesty?
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:02 AM on October 16, 2015


I love how hopelessly naive the video was about potential applications, like "you could use this to pretend you're wearing a business suit but actually you're wearing casual clothes!" instead of "MASSIVE RAMPANT IDENTITY THEFT"

You took the words right out of my mouth
posted by one_bean at 9:28 AM on October 16, 2015


Wouldn't that also wipe out any tells that might relate to dishonesty?

Yeah, you're right; I was kinda kidding. If emoting during testimony were really deemed a problem I'd think that they'd just accept written testimony for everything, anyways.
posted by XMLicious at 9:40 AM on October 16, 2015


You took the words right out of my mouth

So to speak.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:49 AM on October 16, 2015


Man, the look of the rounder-faced, dead eyed guy with the added teeth sets off the "A KILLER IS ON THE LOOSE" alarms in my brain.
posted by cmoj at 9:56 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


odinsdream: “I love the idea that we'll have this crazy-ass future where moviemaking consists of people wordlessly moving around a set and staring at other actors for long stretches of time.

"We'll add the voice and expressions in later."”
Good point. This technology does add a whole new wrinkle to, "We'll fix it in post!"
posted by ob1quixote at 2:11 PM on October 16, 2015


Does this mean we all need to end our video conferences with PGP signatures? Converting base 64 to nato phonetic alphabet will suck...

Also, I've seen web forums where password resets just need a photo of you holding up a handwritten sign as proof. Before, that'd require moderate Photoshop skills, but how far are we from bots churning out those images by the thousands convincingly?
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:21 AM on October 17, 2015


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