This Tech Could Resurrect Charlie Chaplin & Better Autonomous Car Tests, Or Confuse Trump With Obama

Nov 15, 2018


Transferring content from one video to the style of another relies on consistencies — a type of artificially intelligent mimickry that creates images after studying similarities and transforming them. 

New technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University takes that cycle-GAN model a step further, allowing not only facial expressions to be copied, but also the movements and cadence of the performance. Its creator, Aayush Bansal, who's a phD student in CMU's Robotics Institute, says he started the project with applications to film, entertainment and autonomous driving in mind, but quickly realized its potential for deepfakes -- simulations used to intentionally mislead.

He explores his own motivations, as well as where he thinks the tech could go next.

Elsewhere in the program, legal segregation has ended, but institutions formed under its regime still exude inequality. Historian and author Jelani Cobb explores the influence and evolution of race and justice in America. He visited Washington & Jefferson College in October to present his talk, "The Half Life of Freedom."

Federal prosecutors are seeking capital punishment in the case against accused Tree of Life synagogue shooter Robert Bowers, but as WESA’s An-Li Herring reports, that leaves the community to grapple with religious and moral implications.

And red sauce dishes are as traditionally Pittsburgh as pierogi. Post-Gazette food and features writers Gretchen McKay and Melissa McCart talk about their new series, “The Red Sauce Project,” that honors local Italian culture and cuisine.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.