DeepZucked: Facebook AI Can Convincingly Alter Text in Photographs

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives for the 8th annual Breakthrough Prize awards ceremony at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California on November 3, 2019. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook has announced a new AI research project that can mimic and alter the text style in a photo just by looking at one example word. The technology is reminiscent of “deep fake” AI used to create fake videos.

Engadget reports that the social media and tech giant Facebook recently revealed a new AI research project called TextStyleBrush that copies the text style in a photo just by looking at one example word. While previous AI programs could perform this task in a narrow set of conditions, the new Facebook tool can recognize a wide variety of handwriting and type styles.

The technology works like many style brush tools from word processor apps, just applied to images. Previous approaches to the tech depended on specific criteria such as typefaces, but Facebook’s method attempts to “disentangle” the text from its appearance.

While the tool is not perfect, it still performs quite well and it’s clear that the AI can recognize and transform text quite easily even in photos taken in less than optimal lighting and angle conditions.

Facebook has warned that the tech still has some issues and has trouble with metallic or multi-color text, but is steadily improving. The Masters of the Universe are openly sharing the work to promote additional research.

The tech could be useful for a variety of reasons, both inside and outside of Facebook. The company believes that the tool could potentially detect deepfake text by looking for clues of copying. It also could be used to create personalized fonts based on a user’s writing, or improve translation from images and augmented reality. Like any technology, the opportunity for abuse and nefarious applications also exists.

Read more at Engadget here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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