Yes that is true. There is something very unique about all the people you will see in this article. Guess what? All the people here don’t exist and were created using AI
Who are these people?
If you look at these people they seem like the sort of people you would see on social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Or the sort that you would see on Amazon review or while swiping left or right on Tinder.
But actually these people don’t exist. They were made using a computer’s brain. They don’t have name, they don’t have an identity, they were not born, they don’t have a family, they are simply not real.
It’s hard to believe but its true and its done thanks to an application of AI & Machine Learning called Generative adversarial network or GAN.
“A generative adversarial network (GAN) is a class of machine learning frameworks. Two neural networks contest with each other in a game (in the form of a zero-sum game, where one agent’s gain is another agent’s loss). Given a training set, this technique learns to generate new data with the same statistics as the training set. For example, a GAN trained on photographs can generate new photographs that look at least superficially authentic to human observers, having many realistic characteristics.”
How does GAN work?
Essentially you feed a computer program photos of real people. It studies them and tries to make a connection and then generates photos of its own while another system tries to find the odd ones out eventually landing to photorealistic humans which are not real at one.
Nvidia was the first company to make this technology openly accessible. The code shared by them was eventually used to create a website This Person Does Not Exist where anyone could create an imaginary but real face with the click of a button.
There are other startups, such as Generated Photos, who have taken the opportunity to make commercial use of this application. The startup has created a collection of 100,000 human faces, all free to download and use for any purpose. All of them are made using AI and none of them are real but they are beautiful and diverse and ready for use.
What could go wrong?
While there are definite useful cases of such technology but there are also big concerns.
We are looking at a future where no one would know what is real and what is not. Apps, websites and social profiles would be swamped with photos of people who don’t exist while mixed up with those who are real and the naked eye wouldn’t be able to tell which one is real and which one is not.
Here is a test, we have five photos for you below and you have to guess which ones are real?
So were you able to make a guess?
Actually only one of the photos you saw above is real. The middle one.
We hope you enjoyed this informative article and there are many more in our Science category that are worth checking out.
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