Moving a bit too much with a camera while taking a picture, or someone moving in the background for a moment: your whole picture will be ruined, as faces will become blurred. Researchers from three universities (in the United Arab Emirates, Beijing and New York) have managed to make such photos recognisable after all.

Faces that fade because of movement can be restored by means of AI. These researchers are perhaps not the first party to succeed in doing so (Nvidia did it before and smartphonemaker Xiaomi did it too), but in the paper, the researchers state that their method can easily compete with top-of-the-line methods that already exist.

The AI succeeds in distinguishing the different aspects involved in taking a picture: if the background is the same, the difference between foreground and background can be estimated better.

Training

To extensively train the AI (which was necessary to significantly improve the result), more than ten thousand photographs were taken with a GoPro aimed at a street. These were imported into a PC with a single Titan X. The result is impressive: maybe it doesn’t directly create a photo that can be used as a profile image, but it can make someone recognisable.