Facebook has always been considered a platform where people can share content with family and friends. It seems that the company will do everything it can just to make sure you are sharing as much content as possible. It doesn’t matter whether your photographs have some issues here and there. The social media giant will use AI to bring them back to life.
A new research paper published this week revealed that Facebook could start using an AI tool to retouch photos especially blinking selfies. This method is still in the trial phase, and we aren’t sure whether Facebook will introduce the feature anytime soon. But seeing the huge number of selfies that end up with closed eyes due to blinking, it’s indeed a possibility. Besides, there are so many apps at the moment that can remove red eyes or smooth blemishes. Why not have tools that can help retouch the eyes to open them after accidental blinks?
The new system will use a machine learning method to deliver the results. This method is called Generative Adversarial Network or GAN. The technique has been used before to generate imagery, and it has already been used to create fake celebrity photos and even change the weather in videos. The tool can also be used to change the design of clothes in a photo. With all these capabilities, you’d think that editing a blink in a photo should be easy.
Nonetheless, the system will need to, first of all, learn how a person’s eye looks like before it edits the photo. This means that the AI will need to be trained on images of people when they aren’t blinking. The software will be able to get an idea of the eye’s shape and its color. This information will then be used to deal with the blinking images.
This technique is not as easy as it looks. The AI, for instance, will have a hard time editing glasses or faces with extreme angles and long bangs. But when it works, it delivers very realistic results. But the Facebook research on this new tool is not in any way pioneering. There are other major software companies that are working on such AI tools. Adobe and Pixelmator are two major software companies that are developing AI tools that will allow people to easily edit images with very little technical skills.
There are also AI tools in development right now that will be used to generate all new photos and videos. This will obviously be problematic with time. If people are able to fake visual evidence in a matter of seconds and make them so realistic to refute, then you can see how such a technology can be abused. Facebook will also have a few short-term issues to deal with. The platform has often promoted itself as an authentic place where people share authentic information. Providing a tool that allows people to change their appearance may go against that message.