“Deepfake”: attend videoconferences in your pajamas

The advent of teleworking has made many employees discover the joys of a day away from the office, in slippers and pajamas. Anxious to allow them to spend a little more time in their morning clothes, a Japanese company offers its users a digital disguise for videoconferences, recount Nikkei Asia.

By using deepfake technology – manipulation of video images thanks to artificial intelligence – the Tokyo-based start-up EmbodyMe claims to have found “the way to digitally give users a professional appearance, even just out of bed”. The application thus delivers a refined image of users in real time: their hair styled and their face smoothed, in their professional attire. They must first feed the algorithm with some photos of themselves.

“Thanks to artificial intelligence, the app […] generates a more polished version of their image, allowing them to participate in Zoom or Teams meetings appearing in a full suit, albeit still in their pajamas.” Besides business meetings, the company’s site points out that the app can also be used for live streaming.

50,000 face points

Asked by the Japanese weekly, the boss of the start-up describes a cutting-edge technology designed for the occasion: “It tracks 50,000 different points on users’ faces in 3D to detect changes in expression. This is how, by combining this technique with neural rendering, it is possible to generate a natural image on the screen.”

The emergence of technology deepfake, described as easy to handle even for uninitiated users, has raised many concerns about the proliferation of fake news. In 2018, a video warned against this threat. In a widely publicized excerpt, she used technology to stage ex-President Barack Obama speaking the words of actor Jordan Peele.

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