A computer program that can edit videos of people speaking to realistically make it look like they said something else has been created, raising fears of clips being tampered with online.
Researchers at the University of Washington have lip-synced a video of former US president Barack Obama using the program to superimpose new audio onto the clip.
The realistic results put words in Obama's mouth by converting audio sounds into mouth movements and blending them onto an existing video of speech.
The effect could be used in special effects and to improve the quality of video calls, the researchers said.
"When you watch Skype or Google Hangouts, often the connection is stuttery and low-resolution and really unpleasant, but the audio is pretty good," said Steve Seitz, co-author of the research and professor at the University of Washington. "So if you could use the audio to produce much higher-quality video, that would be terrific."
Until now, video lip-syncing involved hours of filming and editing. But the computer program can create a clip with new audio after analysing one hour of speech rather than 14.
It uses artificial intelligence to analyse existing videos online or elsewhere and create realistic simulations from them, taking into account mouth shapes and sound patterns.
"People are particularly sensitive to any areas of your mouth that don't look realistic. If you don't render teeth right or the chin moves at the wrong time, people can spot it right away and it's going to look fake," said Supasorn Suwajanakorn, lead author on the study.
The tool could be used to manipulate videos to create realistic-looking fake clips. But it can only put audio spoken by a person into their mouth.
"You can't just take anyone's voice and turn it into an Obama video," said Seitz. "We very consciously decided against going down the path of putting other people's words into someone's mouth."Read More...
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