The young woman's face at the top of this post might not strike you at first glance as strange or off in any way. Which is arguably what so extraordinary about it. Don't take a closer look, because you won't find anything. It is the face of a young woman who, in reality, doesn't exist. This is a real barebones site, which is similar to real-time, which makes you look at the technology at ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com
It's a pretty barebones site, in that the purpose is right there in the title. That's all the site is. A picture of one computer-generated face after another (all of which look so life-like it's downright creepy) which you access by continually hitting refresh on the page to generate a new face.
Faces like this one, of a guy who looks like he wants to do your taxes:
Again, hit refresh at that page and it generates an endless array of new human faces like his and many others.
In a face every so often that looks off or wrong, but the larger point remains. It is scary how good artificial intelligence is getting to tricking into thinking what we're seeing is real. Increasingly, technology is up and running, which is one of the most popular sources of knowledge.
The creator of the fake face site is Uber software engineer Philip Wang, who has used research from Nvidia that was made public last year, as we wrote here. His site uses an algorithm that's been a large selection of images showing real human faces, and by setting markers and noting the different components and variables that make up a face of a child of neural network to generate new faces.
a Facebook post, Wang explains that every time you refresh the site, the AI uses a "512 dimensional vector" to generate a new facial image "from scratch."
Of course, there are serious implications to the introduction of technology like this into a world that's already grappling with fake news and the ability to manipulate text, image, sound and more. “As we have seen in discussions about deepfakes,” The Verge notes in a piece about the site, “the ability to manipulate and generate realistic imagery at scale is going to have a huge effect on how modern societies think about evidence and trust. Such software is also extremely useful for creating political propaganda and influence campaigns.
"In other words, ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com is just the policy introduced to this new technology. The rude awakening comes later. ”