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A new computer program generates eerily realistic fake videos

By going beyond mimicking facial expressions, the program makes fake footage lifelike

By
10:33am, August 14, 2018
Obama and Putin

PHONY FOOTAGE  A new computer program can manipulate a video so that its subject mirrors the movements of someone else in another video. In this case, images of Russian President Vladimir Putin are altered to match those of former President Barack Obama.

“The camera never lies” is a thing of the past.

A new computer program can manipulate a video such that the person on-screen mirrors the movements and expressions of someone in a different video. Unlike other film-fudging software, this program can tamper with far more than facial expressions. The algorithm, to be presented August 16 at the 2018 SIGGRAPH meeting in Vancouver, also tweaks head and torso poses, eye movements and background details to create more lifelike fakes.

These video forgeries are “astonishingly realistic,” says Adam Finkelstein, a computer scientist at Princeton University not involved in the work. This system could help produce dubbed films where the actors’ lip movements match the voiceover, or even movies that star dead actors reanimated through old footage, he says. But giving internet users the power to create ultrarealistic phony

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