This tool manages to reconstruct pixelated faces with surprising quality

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Brian Adam
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This tool manages to reconstruct pixelated faces with surprising quality

Pixelating a person’s face to protect their privacy has been a common practice for many years. However, it may no longer be as useful as it once was. Artificial bits of intelligence are increasingly adept at figuring out what’s hidden behind a handful of pixels. PRESS, a new tool that uses AI, retrieve faces in stunning detail.

Researchers at Duke University in the United States are responsible behind PULSE. Presenting their research study, the authors have published how PULSE works to achieve reveal faces almost perfectly if they have previously been pixelated.

Analyze all the possibilities instead of getting it right

PRESS is not the first AI in the world to recover pixelated faces, but it does differ from the others by the process that follows. Generally when an AI seeks to recover a pixelated face (or photos, images, videos …) what it does is see what the surrounding pixels are like to generate similar ones in the environment.


This is ingenious, but often not being able to guess exactly what the pixel you are looking for is what it does is make it similar to the others and create images that are too blurry or “flat” and without details. Hence, many times the deepfakes or AI degenerate faces look so strange, hence the PULSE system is different.

The PULSE process is something different, first, take it from traditional images. In smartphones it is where more profit is being obtained lately, there is the Astrophotography mode of the Google Pixel. Spectral Edge, recently purchased by Apple, also achieves significant milestones.

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