Surely many of us had fun using some Google algorithms to age ourselves (FaceApp) or to find our double in the art world (Art Selfie), but recently a website that transforms our photo selfies into painting portraits has also appeared on the web.

What makes this possible is an artificial intelligence engine, created jointly by Boston’s MIT and the IBM Watson AI Lab, which has made this feature accessible to everyone, both from personal computers and smartphones, on their website

Very easy to use, you just upload your own photographic image and wait for the AI ​​algorithm to return the result of the elaboration, a painting that is presented alongside the original photo as a single portrait.

But more than the functionality of the site, in this context, we like to give some additional information about the engine that made this possible. The developers stated that the algorithm was trained using a dataset based on around 45,000 portraits, made by great artists (to name a few: Tiziano, Rembrandt, Van Gogh) with the most disparate techniques (oil, watercolor, ink etc.).

The methodology used is the Generative Adversarial Network (GAN), formed by two different neural networks: one called Discriminator, which is concerned with the recognition of the main somatic features of the uploaded portrait, the other network is called Generator, which has the real function of generating, completely from scratch, a new portrait, in the pictorial style most suited to the characteristics identified by the previous neural network.

It seems that the algorithm has some difficulty in managing the smile, in fact, all the portraits always have a serious face, which in any case does not hurt in a pictorial portrait.

Some may worry about privacy, as personal data is processed (the digital information associated with their facial image), but in this regard, the developers declare that “Your photos are sent to our servers to generate portraits. We will not use the data from your photos for any other purpose and we will eliminate them immediately”. We also remind you that the basic use of the site’s functionality does not include any obligation to register on lists, nor to enter any personal data.

The only problem is that the site was literally assaulted in recent days and was therefore temporarily suspended pending a more effective sizing of the servers.

Hoping to still be able to use Artificial Intelligence also for entertainment purposes, we take this opportunity to send all our readers a heartfelt wish for a good summer vacation.

August 2019

ACTION ICT is a young, dynamic and innovative IT company. It operates, both nationally and internationally, offering professional skills and design solutions in the ICT field to medium and large businesses. Our highly skilled know-how is housed in three expertise specific departments: ACTION DATA (Big Data and Analytics), ACTION APP (Web & Mobile Application) and ACTION IOT (Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Robotics).

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