Facebook Shows Off Real-Time Artistic Video Filters

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Smartphone owners who love to take pictures with their phone and then customize those by turning them into works of art with the Prisma app, might be happy to know that Facebook is currently working on a somewhat similar feature. While speaking at the WSJDLive conference in Laguna Beach, California earlier today, Facebook's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox demonstrated an experimental Live Video feature which allows you to edit your videos with artsy filters based on several painting styles.

While this functionality was shown within Facebook Live, Cox was quick to point out that it's still just a prototype that hasn't been profoundly tested with any of the company's existing products. Interestingly enough, Facebook's COO also showcased how this feature is capable of real-time editing as it's based on an advanced image recomposition technique called style transfer. While the concept is rather simple and can be explained as restyling pictures in the style of other images, it utilizes convolutional neural networks. These networks are rather similar to traditional neural networks with one key difference – their neurons presume that all input information they're processing is visual. In this way, they can pretty much restyle any image with information from any other picture. A few examples published in a German research paper on convolutional neural networks on which Facebook's latest feature is based on showcasing Mona Lisa being restyled by Egyptian hieroglyphs, Arabic calligraphy, and even a screenshot of Google Maps.

While Prisma itself also utilizes neural networks and artificial intelligence to enhance users' photos, Facebook's creation sounds even more impressive because it's capable of doing all of that on the go. While there's still no confirmation these artistic video filters will ever make their way to Facebook Live, the fact that this streaming feature already supports color filters and basic editing functions suggests that Facebook may be ready to push forward in that direction. In addition to that, Facebook's COO also asserted that the social media giant estimates video content will amount to 70% of all Internet traffic from consumers in about half a decade. In other words, Facebook believes online video will become even bigger than it is today, so there's no doubt it's investing into bringing more video-related features to its users. Luckily for those do use Facebook's services, more should be known soon as Cox promised that Mark Zuckerberg himself would shortly reveal further details about these Live video filters. All in all, it seems that Facebook has managed to come up with a worthy Prisma competitor mere months after the original app hit the Play Store.

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