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Making and saving faces.

VIDEO
Hollow face illusion

Via with explanation of how that works--apparently, it doesn't have to be a virtual image like the one in this video. It could also be a mask or a cast of a face. Pretty neat-o.



This is an art film about another "hollow face," but this one wants to look like real faces it sees on TV. I'm sure I don't need to clarify this, but this robot is fictional.




When I saw that art film above, I instantly thought of this new robot named Einstein. Before I get to him, I thought I'd give some history about one of his predecessors. Meet Jules. Jules is a real-world example of a robot who has been programmed (at the University of Bristol) with human-like facial expressions. The researchers had a person make 10 facial expressions and then artists came in to shape the bot's face accordingly (so it made the same 10 expressions as the actors). Now, when the bot is programmed with a certain intonation or expression, its face will also display the feature.

See BotJunkie for an article and other videos about Jules. See the University of Bristol's Robotics Laboratory for a more in-depth look (also featuring a video).



And I found this one of Jules on YouTube. Apparently, the trip to Europe didn't bode so well and the bot got bitter... (And I'm joking if anyone would take that seriously. As someone who works in AI, I am sure that this kind of behavior really coming from a robot is a long way off. Jules does not have feelings and is not a threat to his researchers or other humans. I promise.) The video is cute and amusing though.




And here's the Einstein one. It is more recent and has actually 'learned' how to make facial expressions from looking at people using facial detection software. (also not a threat though, I promise)


Via & via & via & via.
There are also computers and avatars who have recently learned how to use sign language from watching television. Here, you can see a video of how the computer learned.



PHOTOS
of the Einstein bot.



This photo is the creepiest if you ask me. Seeing the wires makes the uncanny valley between the synthetic and biological deeper for me for some reason...



More links:
Here's one about making faces with yarn: Jo Hamilton can crochet your portrait from a photo.

Via.



More links... to add to the lighter side of life after all of this science talk, I've got a couple of humorous links about "saving face"...

Videos of politicians having trouble with bodily functions.

A slideshow of 10 funny-named tourist destinations.

There are two towns named "Dildo". I can just imagine some poor guy trying to pick up a girl at a bar.
-Where are you from?
-Dildo.
-Gosh, I was just trying to be friendly!



And this one is kind of a stretch, I know, and please excuse the bad pun, but humor me. I have to post this news. Fox is going to need to save some face if it is true that they are recasting for the new Futurama episodes. Via.