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Twitter-bot plasters creepy smiles on celebrities' faces

A machine's idea of happiness is pretty scary.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
June 27, 2016
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Not all Twitter bots are racist -- some are genuinely creepy, (but in the best possible way). Take @smilevector, an algorithm created by New Zealand neural network researcher Tom White. If you submit a photo of your favorite celebrity in a glum or neutral pose, it'll turn it into a bizarre, "I just ate a child" kind of grin. The bot "uses a generative neural network to add or remove smiles from images it finds in the wild" or submitted to its follow list, according to its creator.

It can also wipe the smile off of a subject's face, turning it into a neutral open- or closed-mouth expression. White hasn't said exactly how it works, but it appears to find grin or frown similar to the subject's, then crops, resizes and morphs it. The results are often better when it doesn't quite work as planned, as you can see from the selection below.

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