Researchers have built a face detection system that lets you impose your facial expressions on people in videos. The software uses an off-the-shelf webcam to create a 3D model of your face in real time and distorts it to fit the facial details in the target footage. The result is eerily authentic-looking: you can have a dead-serious Vladimir Putin make funny faces, or Donald Trump blab when he’d otherwise stay silent.
This isn’t about to reach software you can buy, but the implications for video creation are big if it becomes more than a university project. You could use the tool to mess with your friends by having celebrities say audacious things, or have famous figures recite dialogue in movies without needing to painstakingly animate faces frame by frame. In other words: get ready for an era when even the most plausible videos aren’t safe from a little computer trickery.