The faces above don’t seem particularly remarkable. They could easily be taken from, say, Facebook or LinkedIn. In reality, they were dreamt up by a new kind of AI algorithm.
Nvidia researchers posted details of the method to produce completely imaginary fake faces with stunning, almost eerie, realism (here’s the paper).
The researchers, Tero Karras, Samuli Laine, and Timo Aila, came up with a new way of constructing a generative adversarial network, or GAN.
GANs employ two dueling neural networks to train a computer to learn the nature of a dataset well enough to generate convincing fakes. When applied to images, this provides a way to generate often highly realistic fakery. The same Nvidia researchers have previously used the technique to create artificial celebrities (read our profile of the inventor of GANs, Ian Goodfellow).
Nvidia makes the computer chips that are crucial to artificial intelligence, but the company also employs an army of software engineers to develop useful tools and to experiment with new ways of using its hardware.