Machine learning app turns face sketches into realististic photos

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Interesting. The face doesn’t really look like the drawing, to any significant degree. There’s obviously a sort of “standard face” (which exists as a range of potential faces, all within certain limited bounds) with some adjustable parameters (visible as sliders), and the drawing seemingly acts as an interface to adjusting those slider values. Which is actually pretty useful, as a creative tool - because potentially you can use this to say, “I want something that looks like this, but different… in these specific ways.”

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It’s sort of an advanced Mr/Mrs Potato Head. The program has a bunch of face pieces collected from real photos. It does its best to match combinations of those pieces to the sketch.

The give away is the sketch area. It looks like those were the training sketches/tracings. One was done for each picture. The closer a user sketch line is to the training sketch line, the greater the chance of using a piece of the associated photo.

(all speculation. I’m bored enough to post, but not read the paper).


This looks like something from a 1990’s sci-fi cop film.

The images I like best are where things go awry and the eyes or teeth are just weird.

It seems really good at turning bad drawings into attractive women

so interesting that these Asian researchers appear to have made a deliberate choice to have the AI be trained on, and to produce only White faces.

Title should be amended: “Machine learning app turns face sketches into realistic photos of white people

I’m not being just snarky. We need to break this habit of calling white people just people, while everyone else is “black people” “hispanic people” “asian people” etc.


This is for cops. It’s a minor update to the existing resources for creating facial composites (“police sketches”) from witness statements. You know, the ones that get random black dudes in hoodies arrested for no reason regularly.

Oh, man! That app really works!


Luckily they trained it on white faces then, so maybe they’ll start gunning down Karens and Kens in their matching polo shirts in the Hamptons?)

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