A new camera app uses a generative adversarial network to let users look like they’re dressed for success while they videoconference in their jammies.

What’s new: Xpression is an iPhone app that maps facial expressions onto still images in real time, allowing users to stream live video selfies clothed in digital costumes.

How it works: The app uses three deep learning models, a spokesperson for app maker EmbodyMe told The Batch.

  • The first model estimates three-dimensional face shapes and expressions from the source video. The second does the same with the target image, whether it be a work of art, an anime character, or a selfie dressed for success. Then a generative adversarial network (GAN) maps the source frames to the target.
  • The software works with video platforms including Zoom, Twitch, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. It can also be used to make YouTube videos.
  • The app is available to iOS users as a beta version here.

Behind the news: Computer vision networks aren’t the only models helping socially distanced workers stay productive and presentable.

  • Otter.ai uses natural language processing to provide real-time captions and translations for Zoom meetings.
  • Microsoft Teams’ AI-powered noise suppression feature mutes crinkling snack wrappers, clacking keyboards, and other distracting desktop din.

Why it matters: No more judgement for our rumpled work-from-home looks and untidy bedrooms!

We’re thinking: Apps like these are a lot of fun, and we’re excited to see how they will develop. But they also take us one step further into a world where it is increasingly hard to determine what, and who, is real. Society needs better and more consistent standards for labelling digital fakery.

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