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posted by janrinok on Wednesday April 22 2020, @01:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the now-get-the-voice-right dept.

This Open-Source Program Deepfakes You During Zoom Meetings, in Real Time:

Video conferencing apps like Zoom and Skype are usually boring and often frustrating. With more people than ever using this software to work from home, users are finding new ways to spice up endless remote meetings and group hangs by looping videos of themselves looking engaged, adding wacky backgrounds, and now, using deepfake filters for impersonating celebrities when you're tired of your own face staring back at you in the front-facing camera window.

Avatarify is a program that superimposes someone else's face onto yours in real-time, during video meetings. The code is available on Github for anyone to use.

Programmer Ali Aliev used the open-source code from the "First Order Motion Model for Image Animation," published on the arxiv preprint server earlier this year, to build Avatarify. First Order Motion, developed by researchers at the University of Trento in Italy as well as Snap, Inc., drives a photo of a person using a video of another person—such as footage of an actor—without any prior training on the target image.

With other face-swap technologies, like deepfakes, the algorithm is trained on the face you want to swap, usually requiring several images of the person's face you're trying to animate. This model can do it in real-time, by training the algorithm on similar categories of the target (like faces).

"I ran [the First Order Model] on my PC and was surprised by the result. What's important, it worked fast enough to drive an avatar real-time," Aliev told Motherboard. "Developing a prototype was a matter of a couple of hours and I decided to make fun of my colleagues with whom I have a Zoom call each Monday. And that worked. As they are all engineers and researchers, the first reaction was curiosity and we soon began testing the prototype."

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bart9h on Wednesday April 22 2020, @04:24AM (6 children)

    by bart9h (767) on Wednesday April 22 2020, @04:24AM (#985672)

    It would be more useful to to make a fake image of myself pretending to pay attention, and occasionally making generic remarks.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by anubi on Wednesday April 22 2020, @07:53AM (2 children)

    by anubi (2828) on Wednesday April 22 2020, @07:53AM (#985693) Journal

    Careful here.... They might sweettalk your avatar into agreeing to a bunch of businesstalk, and you find yourself on the hook to fulfill what your avatar promised.

    That being said, I see great use for this technology in business and advertising, where image and first impressions are everything. It should be quite effective on those who are more impressed by presentation over substance.

    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by pkrasimirov on Wednesday April 22 2020, @12:24PM (1 child)

      by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 22 2020, @12:24PM (#985716)

      The remarks don't need to be agreeing, they can be like "That's interesting" or "I see".

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 23 2020, @01:50AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 23 2020, @01:50AM (#985925)

        It just might work...

        I have worked among those who would not recognize Eliza. As long as it wore an expensive suit and alluded to extensive wealth and expensive lifestyles, it might pass muster. Everyone would be afraid of it.

        The emporer has no clothes. And sometimes makes no sense either. But you gotta do what you gotta do, even if you know better. No sense dying over defending a right-of-way.

  • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Wednesday April 22 2020, @11:17AM (2 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Wednesday April 22 2020, @11:17AM (#985710)

    Hire someone in Nigeria to call in for you.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by DannyB on Wednesday April 22 2020, @02:46PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 22 2020, @02:46PM (#985734) Journal

      You would discover that everyone else on the conference call, except for you, were generous and kind enough to help a Nigerian prince to escape his country by helping him to facilitate wire transferring a fortune as part of his escape.

      The lower I set my standards the more accomplishments I have.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Freeman on Wednesday April 22 2020, @03:29PM

      by Freeman (732) on Wednesday April 22 2020, @03:29PM (#985749) Journal

      Sounds like the first setup in a comedy movie, that just snowballs from there.

      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"