There's an AI algorithmic technique known as "Progressive Face Super-Resolution", which can take low-rez photos of people's faces and enhance them into higher-rez versions.
It's actually a rather unsettling development for public privacy, as Futurism points out, because it means it's increasingly possible to take grainy surveillance-cam pictures and produce detailed pictures. (Or even more worryingly, I'd add, it'll produce pictures that have seeming realism but are in fact inaccurate up-rezzings of the low-rez pictures, thus misidentifying innocent people. These days, some AI's biggest dangers come not from its omnipotent successes but from its clown-show failures … particularly when authorities can't tell the difference, or don't care.)
Anyway! Over at I Forced A Bot, Jonathan Fly wondered what would happen if he used Progressive Face Super-Resolution to increase the resolution of emoji.
Super freaky results, as it turns out! Fly used it on Twitter emoji, and the result is the picture above. As he writes:
Because this model is trained specifically to look for facial landmarks it will take any excuse to draw eyes and nostrils on a pixel. And I'm pretty sure the pepperoni on that pizza is made out of human lips… ?
Here are a few more of Fry's transformed Twitter emoji …
I'm gonna have trouble getting to sleep tonight.