Artificial intelligence (AI) has great potential for fundamentally altering the way our world operates. Although it can replace or enhance human thinking in many industries, as well as help us make existing processes much more efficient, there is still a great deal of anxiety for some over the potential power of computerized intelligence, and every once in a while, a story comes out in the news about a breakthrough or a new AI application that helps bolster the argument that “AI is scary.”
Real or Just AI?
Imagine scanning through dozens of photos of “people” only to find out that they don’t exist. That’s the basis of a new website aptly titled thispersondoesnotexist. If you reload the page, the first person you saw will be replaced by another face that’s equally compelling but just as unreal.
The site was developed by software engineer Phillip Wang in February 2019 and specializes in creating fake faces, among other images. The realism of the AI has caused concern among some observers, who feel the technology could be abused, which isn’t so different from one of our previous posts about a text-generating AI that was viewed as so powerful by its creators that they decided not to release it to the public.
Is Concern Overblown?
Some may argue that the concern over the potential negative impacts of AI is overblown. After all, how much more effective is a scammer going to be with the use of an AI-generated face? Does that really provide some sort of sinister advantage?
Wang himself says he believes people are becoming more aware of and familiar with the immense capabilities of AI, lessening the chances that they will be duped by something they wouldn’t have comprehended a year ago.
Whether you find it frightening and creepy or not, Wang’s site is undeniably interesting in its abilities to generate such varied and realistic images of fake people, so it’s worth a look.