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The Horrifying Truth About Facial Remapping Software

This image, which seems to be a webcam still from the exact second a gravitational singularity formed behind a smug young Asian man's face, is actually from a "video tech demo for facial substitution." And if you think that sounds like politically correct jargon for "robots ripping your face off," then, holy shit, we wish you were right. Because this is way more existentially disturbing:

Faces from arturo castro on Vimeo.

Robot face-ripping only lasts for one terrible minute, but watching this video will bore a hole in you, straight through to the place where joy used to live, and then leave you to live out the rest of your natural life while slowly hemorrhaging happiness. Seriously, watch that video. It isn't a mock-up or anything -- that's real software, doing its job in real time. There's actually a whole Internet community out there dedicated to mapping out and replacing human features online, because that's the Internet's problem: too much accountability. Let's examine a few of the results of the "remapped" celebrity faces in this demo.

That's supposed to be Paris Hilton, and aside from looking like she spent all day under a car, this one seems pretty accurate. The simulacrum maybe has a little bit too much life in the eyes, but to be fair, it's really hard to render the emptiness inside of the real Paris Hilton.

Gah! That's supposed to be Fidel Castro, but it looks more like the disgruntled offspring of Abraham Lincoln and a silverback gorilla. We shall call him Ape Lincoln.

That's Vladimir Lenin ... if you filtered the communist ruler's face through a half-broken N64 and then pinched his ass right before taking his picture.

Here's Marilyn Monroe and ... shit, she's still kind of hot, isn't she? Even after she's been dead for 50 years and had her likeness scanned, repurposed and twisted by machines, then projected onto the skin of a disheveled male computer hacker, the girl's still got it.

Here's the software rendering a ... melted wax figure of fat Vincent D'Onofrio? Holy shit, that's supposed to be President Obama? Are we programming facial remapping software to be racist?

So there you go: It may not be Mission: Impossible-level face-stealing yet, but if you've ever wanted to watch a Spanish man wearing a mockery of Marilyn Monroe's face coyly purse his lips at you, then A) Science has got your back and B) please report to the Ministry of Sexual Terror for chemical castration immediately.

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