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Instant Sex Change Served ­p By Video Software


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Software developed by University of East Anglia computer scientist Barry-John Theobald and Weta Digital's Iain Matthews can take a live video feed of a person talking and make them look and sound like someone else. Psychologists are using the software in experiments to test how a person's gender affects the body language of others.

Theobald and Matthews developed the software after being approached by psychologists from three U.S. universities looking for a way to switch the apparent gender of volunteers talking to each other through videoconference software. The developers first recorded video of volunteers performing 30 different facial expressions and manually labeled the positions of key facial features, including eyes, nose, and the corners of the mouth. The annotated footage was used to "train" software to recognize the face of each individual featured in the set. Once the software was trained to a person, it could closely track every movement of their face in video footage. The movements could then be transferred onto the face of another "known" person by calculating how the recipient's features needed to change to take on a new expression.

View a video of the gender-changing software.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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