It’s a common problem with having your photo taken: your smile is wide but your eyes shut just as the flash goes off. Not to worry, though. Facebook’s new AI can now open your eyes in photos where they’re closed.
As if their facial recognition wasn’t creepy enough, a pair of Facebook engineers have come up with an artificial intelligence tool that detects unopened eyes in images and applies more photogenic versions over them; according to a research paper published this by the social media company.
Facebook’s new AI studies photos of blinking subjects. It then compares them with images of the same people with their eyes opened and uses what they call “in-painting” to rectify the embarrassing shots. The 10-page paper likened the method to other photo retouching methods such as removing blemishes and red-eye corrections.
So far, Facebook’s new AI tool has been trained to extract the lighting in which photos were taken in; it also extracts people’s iris colours, skin tones, and eye contours. When the final results were shown to participants, 54 percent selected the in-painted photos as the originals or weren’t able to tell the difference.
There were challenges, however, with the experiment. The AI had difficulty recreating eyes from photos where people had glasses on, as well as where subjects’ hair covered their eyes. Nevertheless, the researchers are positive these issues can be sorted out.
There is no mention about whether the technique will make its way to Facebook or Instagram any time soon. However, with over 3.5 billion images on the social network, Facebook’s move into advanced photo editing would hardly be a surprise.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.