Machine Learning: Making Puppets out of Celebrities

Google Image search Tom Hanks and you’re given a plethora of photographs of the actor in various poses, facial expressions and lightings. With a lengthy résumé and a career spanning decades, audiences have witnessed the emotion he brings to his performances. Celebrities like Tom Hanks, and other highly photographed individuals, can now have their likeness inputted into a controllable model thanks to research from the Univ. of Washington’s Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering. “Conceptually, we want to capture how a person appears in all possible scenarios,” the researchers write. “In the case of famous actors, there’s a wealth of such data available, in the form of photographic and video (film and interview) footage. If, by using this data, we could somehow synthesize footage of Tom Hanks in any number…


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