Yikes! AI generates freakishly natural human faces

From the “rise of the machines” department, and coming to a fake news story near you comes this troubling development that blurs the lines of reality and fantasy even further.

Video graphics giant NVIDIA recently released a paper demonstrating a new training methodology for generating unique and realistic looking faces using a generative adversarial network (GAN).

The results are indistinguishable from reality, yet none of these are real people – they are computer generated.

From the paper abstract:

“We describe a new training methodology for generative adversarial networks. The key idea is to grow both the generator and discriminator progressively, starting from low-resolution images, and add new layers that deal with higher resolution details as the training progresses. This greatly stabilizes the training and allows us to produce images of unprecedented quality, e.g., CelebA images at 1024² resolution. We also propose a simple way to increase the variation in generated images, and achieve a record inception score of 8.80 in unsupervised CIFAR10,”

Source: http://research.nvidia.com/publication/2017-10_Progressive-Growing-of

Obviously, this has applications in computer gaming, and when perfected, could replace hundreds of problematic Hollywood actors without risks of the AI generated people enduring waves of sexual harassment put forth by producers to “get the part”. The downside though, is that if people can be this well simulated, this means the value of surveillance video and other court evidence will be worthless in the future. It also means a booming industry in “fake news” video.

Here is a video compiling some of the faces they have generated (best viewed at full-screen, 1080i or better):

Yet as good as these models are, we still can’t get climate modeling right.

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November 1, 2017 11:06 am

Great! Perhaps we can get rid of Hollywood movie stars and simply computer generate the needed actors and actresses. But what to do about the writers, directors and producers?

Reply to  JimG1
November 1, 2017 11:29 am

Have you seen any movies lately? A computer could write better stuff anyday.

Reply to  Tom Trevor
November 1, 2017 1:02 pm

That’s what I meant. How do we get rid of them?

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Tom Trevor
November 2, 2017 6:14 am

Yes, we should go to computer-generated movies, but give the special effects back to humans. So much of it is overdone crap now, they can’t even get FIRE looking right.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  JimG1
November 1, 2017 1:09 pm

“Great! Perhaps we can get rid of Hollywood movie stars and simply computer generate the needed actors and actresses.”

The impact on Western civilization of such a move would be enormous. Without “celebrity” status, the idiots who parrot every left-wing cause on earth would be just ordinary idiots without disproportionate leverage to advance those causes. One might think that the natural progression would be the creation of CGI superstars, (such as “S1mOne” in the 2002 movie) who could then be used to even more effectively spread lefty nonsense. I rather think that couldn’t happen, because the lure of these celebrities is in the fact that they are living people. (S1mOne’s undoing was that she was never seen in person) No, I think the competition would be to create ever more realistic CGI “performers,” and tailor them exactly to their roles. There would be no two films with the same “starts”. And no more miscasting!

For my own part, though, I’d really love to see them do this with the Three Stooges, and make a bunch more movies set in the 1930s and 40s. Just saying…

Reply to  JimG1
November 1, 2017 2:16 pm

Movie and TV performers will be among the first to lose their jobs to automation. Thank God.

See how many of them are willing to work on the stage for minimum wage.

Ian Macdonald
Reply to  JimG1
November 2, 2017 12:36 am

Movies from an AI director’s viewpoint:
Terminator 4: Skynet decides not to waste resources on building killer robots, since humans seem to be quite capable of eliminating themselves.

Reply to  JimG1
November 2, 2017 1:53 am

How about a movie about computer models displacing real models.


george e. smith
Reply to  JimG1
November 3, 2017 2:23 pm

Hey ! Who do you know who ever walks around looking freakishly natural.

Looks fakery is as old as the human race. Whole industries are built on it.


Richard Patton
November 1, 2017 11:12 am

There goes the “pictures don’t lie” meme

Reply to  Richard Patton
November 1, 2017 11:17 am

That went away quite some time ago.

Reply to  SMC
November 1, 2017 12:34 pm

That was not even true when ‘pictures’ were oil paintings.

Reply to  SMC
November 1, 2017 12:49 pm

“The results are indistinguishable from reality, yet none of these are real people ”

Well, the female at top,right has a “hair problem” that would make be run a mile if I met her in a bar. But I agree some of them are very convincing, if still slightly odd.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  SMC
November 1, 2017 1:51 pm

How do you know that the AI-generated image self-identifies as a female?

Reply to  Richard Patton
November 1, 2017 6:31 pm

That went away with Jurassic Park.

Joe Crawford
November 1, 2017 11:13 am

The directors can couch the images all they want. Might just keep ’em out of jail in the future.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Joe Crawford
November 1, 2017 12:34 pm

Yeh. They could get 3d prints of the AI generated luvvies.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Stephen Richards
November 1, 2017 12:51 pm

…and make blow-up dolls.

Reply to  Stephen Richards
November 1, 2017 2:02 pm

I read something on Drudge a few weeks back about a brothel somewhere, that only employed sex robots.

Barbara Skolaut
November 1, 2017 11:13 am

Don’t understand how this works, but wonder why there are no black or Asian people “generated.” Does the software not “do” them as well as white/Hispanic? (not trying to stir up trouble; the absence is glaringly obvious)

Peter Plail
Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
November 1, 2017 11:24 am

If you view the video you will see plenty.

Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
November 1, 2017 11:24 am

Obviously a massive conspiracy to eliminate the undesirables.

george e. smith
Reply to  arthur4563
November 3, 2017 2:27 pm

There’s no hermaphrodites either !


Lucius von Steinkaninchen
Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
November 1, 2017 11:26 am

Those deep learning things only learn to do what is taught to them through examples. Probably whoever assembled the dataset containing pictures of real people for feeding the network chose only white and hispanic people, and as far as the AI is concerned they are everything that exists.

Reply to  Lucius von Steinkaninchen
November 1, 2017 2:03 pm

The learning programs that I have worked with tend to average the pictures it has been given.
If there weren’t enough “minority” pictures, they could have been averaged out.

Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
November 1, 2017 11:26 am

Looked like there were some in the video… Seems to average different faces together. Some of the interpolations are kind of weird, and a few are kind of disturbing to me.

Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
November 1, 2017 11:36 am

There are a few…watch the video. I’m going to assume the reason why there isn’t as many is because they haven’t completed coding in every single ethnicity.

Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
November 1, 2017 12:07 pm

obviously cuz they are insensitive and probably naztis. you should get on twitter and call on them to repudiate something cuz if sensible you is triggered, omg! think of the unborn generations!
on the other hand, i see an oriental dead center and to the right of her the fellow may identify as a black female, so wtf knows, eh?

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
November 1, 2017 1:54 pm

Middle row center and middle row far right?

Scottish Sceptic
November 1, 2017 11:21 am

The big question is this: if everyone prefers “beautiful” partners – why hasn’t humanity developed so we are a clone like cast of this perfect idea of beauty. And why are so many men so ugly – if everyone is looking for the ideal partner? And the answer is surprising, there must be sexual selection for “ugliness” (or at least for deviation away from a concept of beauty).

That’s what I keep telling myself – my looks are genetically superior.

Why women love ugly men

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
November 1, 2017 11:32 am

“Why women love ugly men”

ahhhh… now that explains things.. I’m just too handsome !! 😉

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
November 1, 2017 11:33 am

Rather, to a cynical observer, the Rule of Breeding becomes:

A woman will seek (and accept) the richest (most powerful, most successful, most likely to succeed) man she can attract.
Goal: Long-term protection, food, clothing, and shelter for children.

A man will seek (and accept) the prettiest (sexiest, most attractive) woman he can afford.
Goal: If no moral code, fastest, cheapest, quickest sex with least responsibilities afterwards.
Goal: If morals are imposed by culture/religion/force, long-term survival of his children.

Rob Bradley
Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 1, 2017 11:42 am

What will a rich, powerful and successful woman seek?

Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 1, 2017 11:58 am

@ Rob Bradley
Such a woman will seek, and settle for, nothing less than her equal.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 1, 2017 12:03 pm

“What will a rich, powerful and successful woman seek?”…………boy toy

Reply to  Latitude
November 1, 2017 12:28 pm

“What will a rich, powerful and successful woman seek?”

Young? Toys. Fun. Excitement. Immediate pleasure.
Middle Age? More power. Boy toy. More money, more power.
Older? Grandchildren. (But it will be too late for most. Perhaps fortunately for the race.)

Rob Bradley
Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 1, 2017 12:08 pm

Latitude is correct, TonyL needs some real world experience.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 1, 2017 12:09 pm

“What will a rich, powerful and successful woman seek?”
a fat settlement.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 1, 2017 2:07 pm

Many years ago I read a study that had allegedly found a correlation in women between long legs and being smart.
The theory put forth by the author’s was that successful men, who tended to be smarter than average sought the most beautiful women, who tended to have long legs.
As a result their children had long legs and brains.

Rob Bradley
Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 1, 2017 2:23 pm

“that successful men, who tended to be smarter than average”
From a genetic point of view this is wrong. 100-200,000 years ago, it was male strength, endurance, and disease resistance that resulted in successfully feeding and defending one’s mate and offspring. From a genetic point of view, men sought women that could survive childbirth. Fat women were considered very beautiful 500+ years ago. Long legs had nothing to do with it.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 1, 2017 3:15 pm

Strong men survive, but smart men are successful, usually by employing strong men.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 1, 2017 6:16 pm

heh- indian women are bred for beauty.
ugly ones don’t make it to the first birthday.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 1, 2017 7:58 pm

@Rob – the Presidency? By any means necessary…

Ian Macdonald
Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 2, 2017 12:42 am

A woman selects a male based on the bulge in his trousers.
-No, the other one.

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
November 1, 2017 11:51 am

About that preference for beautiful partners. I have a preference for remarkably tender, well marbled, aged beef cooked medium rare. But, if I’m hungry I’ll grab a bowl of porridge and still be grateful. I really love a good single malt but I’ll be glad to drain a glass of Tennessee whiskey (much more affordable and in the end just as effective). And, do keep in mind ‘Oh wad some pow’r the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!” An especially telling remark when one considers that love is blind and does a significant amount of its thinking with glands, not brains.

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
November 1, 2017 11:54 am

Why are Nordic women blonde, have blue eyes, and are gorgeous?
When the Vikings went out on their raiding expeditions, they left the ugly ones behind.

Why are French men so short?
All of the taller ones were forcibly drafted into Napoleon’s army and killed in disastrous wars. A whole generation of men was largely obliterated. It took several inches off the height of the population at large.

Reply to  TonyL
November 1, 2017 12:19 pm

Why are Russians so willing to accept domination, central control, centralized governments with no freedoms (and less risks)? Because since the 1650’s, those who dared protest – who were not inside the power structure of the czars’ secret police, the Communist secret police, today’s military-organized-crime-communities and networks – were killed outright, pogrammed and terrorized and enslaved, sent to the mines and the timber camps in Siberia and the slave camps in St Petersberg, Moscow. Try to raise crops and be successful? Get starved to death along with 12 million fellow farmers in the Ukraine. The desire to be free, those willing to speak up or protest or change things were killed out, and have never bred.

I would have never survived capture by Muslim slaver-traders in Africa and the horrors of a slave ship, nor the slave fields of Egypt, Babylonia, Rome, Greece, China or the Dark Ages.

Why do the Chinese accept central government and all of its restrictions? Why have the Chinese never advantaged and used the many technologies they invented centuries before the Europeans used them? Because ever since the Great Wall, and for many centuries before it, the Chinese have killed those who challenge its bureaucracy and its politicians and its bureaucratic process. Find a new land without permission of the Emperor? Get killed when you return. Invent a new process without permission? Get killed. Protest someone else getting killed? Get killed.

Reply to  TonyL
November 1, 2017 12:34 pm

“Why are Nordic women blonde, have blue eyes”

Natural selection. Because there is very little sunshine in Scandinavia. Sunshine is needed to form Vitamin D in the epidermis and Vitamin D shortage frequently causes miscarriage.

Reply to  TonyL
November 1, 2017 2:10 pm

That would explain light skin color, not blonde hair and blue eyes.

Reply to  TonyL
November 1, 2017 2:23 pm

A point against that. Lighter skinned people have the same amount of melanin as the darker skinned people. Excepting differences in melanin type or accidents that preclude production, it is the depth of penetration that determines the color of skin we perceive. A point for Vitamin D production via UV, the lesser depth of penetration allows the lesser strength of UV to still give adequate production. Still, people also get Vitamin D from the diet.

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
November 1, 2017 2:04 pm

People prefer beautiful but will settle for what they can get.

November 1, 2017 11:41 am

I work in the 3D printing world and one of the biggest challenges is to get take 2D image of someone, converted to a 3D geometry and have a monochrome 3D CAD file look like the person in real life. People who try and do this often end up with a fairly generic humanoid avatar. If software could covert a few old photographs in to a good 3D likeness, there’s are a lot market in the memorial business.

Beyond that, you can already make very good 3D CAD files from subjects captured in cameral rigs or scanned but the cost is high and finding someone to do the capture is difficult in some areas. Again, if this technology could work in reverse to make 3D geometry, there could be a big market.

Reply to  Sean
November 1, 2017 6:34 pm

Have the 2D-to-3D printing researchers considered inputting stereo 2D images as used in the old stereopticons?

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
November 2, 2017 6:41 pm

there are a number of photogrammetry apps- even free ones.
but they are suitable for art- not for accurate production of an item that requires tolerances better than the pixels per inch allow

J Mac
November 1, 2017 11:58 am

The ‘Latent Space Interpolations’, beginning at about the 2 minute mark, are creepy!
A virtual unreality….

Steve Fraser
Reply to  J Mac
November 1, 2017 12:29 pm

Same thing happens with temperature homogenization.

Reply to  Steve Fraser
November 1, 2017 2:25 pm

True that! +6.023 E+23

November 1, 2017 12:18 pm

The implications will be much larger than Hollywood. Really who cares about Hollywood anyway. Where things will be problematic is in crime and politics. Glenn Beck mentioned it the other day. Imagine if all the information gathered about you through the internet . . . who you listen to, your politics, media preferences, all of it were compiled and ranked by someone else’s political hierarchy or enemies list, such as a dictator’s. Then they use it to destroy you, virtually. That is, A.I. creates a virtual you, creates film of you that is flawless, creates voice of you that is also flawless, all creating some crime or infidelity in your marriage, and then brings it to public in the way that it knows will most trigger you. Imagine this on a world scale. For example, a conversation between presidents selling out their countries. Who would know what to believe?

Reply to  me
November 1, 2017 12:34 pm

Gives pause for thought. Also, that scenario leads one to question whether or not people would be able to be ‘disappeared’ with no trace, or with a made-up backstory, with “evidence” that is in actuality computer-generated.

At some point, all the technology out there is going to be useful for turning us into useless meatbags with no history and no future.

Reply to  AZ1971
November 1, 2017 1:29 pm

According to Beck’s source, a high-level Silicon Valley exec, the technology exists now. When you combine A.I. with “Big Information” (kind of the same thing) it certainly creates a whole new, evil paradigm. The dangerous period will be the 10 years between now and when it is common place because the largest amount of people will not believe it exists, and will believe the A.I. creations. Russia is pouring huge resources in A.I. right now for this reason.

November 1, 2017 12:32 pm

I’ll bet that the porn industry will become the biggest user of this technology.

Mark - Helsinki
November 1, 2017 12:51 pm

1k lol

I’m running 8k textures, it’s not that simple, putting faces on a model in a 3d environment is a whole different story. Especially if YOU are the moving POV within that 3d env, with light sources, ambient occlusion is critical for realism and it’s rather limited at the moment.

Random generation with layers, meh. Advanced bumb mapping lol, with some facial recog like algorithms maybe.

Simply generating a photorealistic image is hardly a significant advance.

Amateurs are creating 8k texture modes from their bedrooms 😀

Mark - Helsinki
November 1, 2017 12:57 pm

I played Elite on the Commodore, and from then to today.. the leap is disappointing!

Even today the PCs are getting smaller but the cards to run these graphics are still big, very big. Lots of heat, lots of power. Lots of cash

meh, buying a Vive VR at Christmas, quite bored with a flat display, have been for 10 years.
VR still a long way to go yet, but it’s fun though, more immersive

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 1, 2017 1:19 pm

I waited and waited for HD tv to be reasonably priced. I wanted HD. I really wanted HD. However, as time passed, there was so little to watch on TV, that even though HD is cheap now and broadcasts are in HD, I’m still using an analog TV with a converter box.

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 1, 2017 1:49 pm

High end graphics cards have more horsepower than the computer itself. In principle, they apply N cores to perform massively parallel matrix multiplications. I worked on one of the first high performance graphics cards found in a Sun workstation. This had a single core and we though that it was a really big deal just to offload the main CPU. Today’s GPU’s are orders of magnitude more powerful and even the cheap ones are good enough for most applications as long as they have enough memory to keep the display list and all the required textures resident in the card. If you look at GL graphics, you will see how a GPU works as most of the GL API is directly implemented by modern graphics engines.

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
November 1, 2017 10:42 pm

If you played Elite on your Commodore perhaps you played the Wing Commander series in the 90’s too. There is an open alpha for the development of an updated version being made by the same dev. It is definitely a step up. Check out YouTube videos on Star Citizen and the game’s website at

November 1, 2017 1:15 pm

As this technology develops further it will eventually be able to image anyone doing anything that they want. It is simply a matter of time, computer power, and software development. Human nature is such that someone will always figure out how to put it to an evil use.

M Seward
November 1, 2017 1:16 pm

Gee, this will do wonders for the credibility of the msm, advretising, politicians and so many other self promoters…. not.

November 1, 2017 1:16 pm

Fake is the new normal!

November 1, 2017 1:22 pm

Yet as good as these models are, we still can’t get climate modeling right.

That’s because this is real science… 🙂

Reply to  JaapT
November 1, 2017 5:27 pm

What’s really neat is that is just like climate modeling in some ways. They can produce literally limitless numbers of human faces, with no humans involved, except the basic facial layout of a head with 2 eyes, a nose in the middle, and a mouth and then a chin, and a few other details. One might actually look like the identical twin of a real person.

Likewise, climate models can produce literally millions of different climate futures from many different models, all the different runs predicting A future climate that is different from all the other predicted future climates. One or a few might actually predict how the climate will evolve in the future, but how do you tell which one is true?

November 1, 2017 3:09 pm

Dang… I read AI as Al (AL – as in Gore.) I was scared he was creating his photorealistic army to have his next press conference in front of! (ai vs al) Sure he wasn’t the inventor of this process?

Reply to  fxk
November 1, 2017 8:02 pm

There are armies of lefty bots who present themselves as legion on the internet, seemingly giving majority voice to their ideology, when in fact, it is just a few lefties coordinating the virtual outcries.

November 1, 2017 3:33 pm

Remarkable. I remember an Arthur C. Clarke novel (“Childhood’s End”) where, under the benign control of the aliens, mankind has advanced animation to the point where one could no longer discern art from reality. While merely an offhand comment in the story, it is clear that we have now reached that point without protection from the Overlords.

I have (as the author of this article commented) wondered when things got to where we would no longer be able to trust images, particularly when images (of real people) can be made to say anything!

On that note, I wish to say that, despite the relative information density involved, images have become MUCH more evolved than voices- there are few, if any (to my knowledge) programs that can imitate the voice of a person familiar to us with any reliability.

Once that is accomplished, we will no longer be able to trust ANY electronic media!

Reply to  Kpar
November 1, 2017 8:07 pm

Siri, Apple’s digital personal assistant, was released in 2011 and there are many jokes and allusions to her in the media as a real person.

November 1, 2017 3:55 pm

An epidemic of unrequited love is likely in the near future.

November 1, 2017 4:04 pm

I see an epidemic of unrequited love in our future.

November 2, 2017 3:56 am

“Yet as good as these models are, we still can’t get climate modeling right.”
I don’t agree. Climate modeling is just as good as NVidia in creating fake climate picture.

November 2, 2017 4:01 am

I wouldn’t had notice without the warning these people are not real, but they look like photoshopped pictures, with too much symmetry.
They just need to introduce some flaws, with is probably easier that making so perfect faces.

Norman Blanton
November 2, 2017 4:45 am

Wonder if this will put any Police Artist out of business,

November 2, 2017 4:49 am

That explains why the guy in the adhesive commercial looks and acts too weird for words. And is there a purpose to these exercises? No? Great! That means I really don’t need to get a new TV for the time being. And all these obnoxious twanks who report the news won’t be needed any more, right? Good. Sets my mind at ease.

November 2, 2017 5:40 am

On the plus side, this means we’re watching the last generation of human actors and actresses. Movies will be cheaper (no 20 million plus payments to actors/actresses) and quicker to make after a suitable library of “blank” action masters are made (think of it as an extension of software classes) then programs that take a book and translate it into action sequences. The writers become the superstars of entertainment.
AND then think about the elimination of professional sports – no millionaire players strutting around, just a wide screen with some randomization routines to add that touch of reality. Tickets might be cheaper as well and no need for stadiums and all the junk food they sell.
AND politicians?

November 2, 2017 7:20 pm

Best of all, when these creations become actors they won’t sexually molest anyone–probably.

November 2, 2017 10:16 pm

NVIDIA AcidTrip 4.0!

November 4, 2017 1:58 pm

I have been saying for years (about 10 to15) that when CGI gets good enough…Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Dorthy Lamour, Marlena Dietrich, Gloria Swanson, Kate Hepburn, will “come back to life”, (Royalties to the heirs.) The great part about it, NO DRUGS, SEXUAL GARBAGE, LEFTIST GARBAGE, etc. Pure entertainment. BYE BYE Hollyweird.) (John Belushi, I forgot the immortal J.B.)

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