We’ve all seen instances in movies, especially sci-fi and crime-based movies where a suspect’s face might be obscured or pixelated, but through the magic of software, it somehow manages to depixelate their faces to reveal the actual person. Thanks to Russian developer Denis Malimonov, that reality has come true, sort of.
Malimonov has created an AI-based software called the Face Depixelizer, where it harnesses the power of AI to that a low-res pixelated photo and turn it into a realistic photo. It uses StyleGAN where the AI will attempt to look for another photo that when downscaled, will result in the same pixelated face.
This means that it might not necessarily mean that running a pixelated photo through this software will magically depixelate a photo and reveal the actual person in the photo, but rather it can create an alternative photo where it finds a photo with a similar look and turns that pixelated image into a high-res and realistic one.
With default settings, I got this result. pic.twitter.com/mRkqqTwhJF
— Bomze (@tg_bomze) June 20, 2020
As you can see in the tweet above, this can also be used in video games where pixelated images of characters have been given realistic portraits, although your mileage may vary as some of the results are believable, while others are pretty hilarious. According to Malimonov, “This tool will not restore the original face, however, it can help with the identification of facial features.” For those who are curious, they can download the Face Depixelizer from Github.